TikTok, the popular video-sharing platform, has been fined £12.7m by the UK’s data watchdog for violating children’s privacy laws. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the platform allowed up to 1.4 million UK children under the age of 13 to use its services without parental consent in 2020.
The ICO’s investigation revealed that TikTok collected and used children’s personal data, potentially exposing them to harmful or inappropriate content. The following paragraphs will provide further details on the case, reactions, and implications.
TikTok’s Failure to Protect Children’s Privacy
According to the ICO’s investigation, TikTok did not abide by laws that protect children’s safety in the digital world. Despite setting the minimum age to create an account at 13, many children under 13 were still able to access the site. The regulator estimated that TikTok’s failure to protect children’s privacy may have affected one million minors. TikTok’s data collection practices may have also enabled it to track and profile children, presenting them with harmful or inappropriate content.
ICO’s Response and TikTok’s Reaction
The information commissioner, John Edwards, said that TikTok “should have known better” and “should have done better.” He added that the £12.7m fine reflected the serious impact TikTok’s failures may have had. Edwards told that TikTok had “taken no steps” to obtain parental consent. However, a TikTok spokesperson told that the company’s safety team works “around the clock” to keep the platform safe for its community. The spokesperson disagreed with the ICO’s decision but acknowledged that the fine had been reduced to less than half the amount proposed last year. TikTok is considering its next steps.
Implications for TikTok and the Online Safety Bill
TikTok is allowed to appeal against the fine’s scale and has 28 days to make representations. The ICO has a maximum of 16 weeks to deliver its final verdict. However, the UK Online Safety Bill, expected to be passed soon, requires strict age verification processes by social networks. Firms that breach the law could face fines. The bill could pose further challenges for TikTok. The platform is already under scrutiny worldwide over security concerns, and many countries have taken measures against it over fears of data sharing with the Chinese government.
TikTok’s £12.7m fine is one of the largest issued by the ICO. The regulator found that TikTok violated laws that protect children’s privacy and safety in the digital world. TikTok’s data collection practices may have exposed children to harmful or inappropriate content. The platform is allowed to appeal against the fine, but the UK’s Online Safety Bill could pose further challenges for TikTok.
DELTA Data Protection & Compliance, Inc. Academy & Consulting – The DELTA NEWS – Visit: delta-compliance.com