Published 29 May 2024

Privacy Commissioner Carly Kind said:

My office has closed our preliminary inquiries into TikTok. The purpose of preliminary inquiries is to determine whether an investigation is warranted. From the information before me, there is no clear and obvious breach of Australian privacy law that would warrant opening an investigation.

A regulator like the OAIC must always direct its attention – and its resources – towards where they will have the greatest impact. This case raises issues that are sadly not unique to TikTok, and any litigation or investigation by the OAIC would be on uncertain legal footing.

Pixels are one of many tracking tools, including cookies, that permit granular user surveillance across the internet and social media platforms. Many of these tracking tools are harmful, invasive and corrosive of online privacy.

We urgently need reform of the Privacy Act. It is the best way to tackle the most harmful aspects of the digital ecosystem.

We are considering next steps to address broader issues raised by tracking tools that have become commonplace on websites today, with a focus on tools that could facilitate the transfer of sensitive information. We will also be publishing information on key privacy issues organisations must consider when configuring and deploying tracking tools on their websites.