Listen to this article TikTok Fined £12.7M Over Improper Use Of Children’s Data
The UK’s data watchdog has fined TikTok, the popular video-sharing site, £12.7m for failing to protect the privacy of children. According to an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), TikTok allowed up to 1.4 million UK children under the age of 13 to use the platform in 2020.Additionally, the company collected and used their data without parental consent, potentially exposing them to harmful or inappropriate content.
The ICO’s Investigation
The ICO found that TikTok allowed an estimated one million under-13s to access the platform, despite setting the minimum age for account creation as 13. The regulator said that the company failed to abide by laws designed to ensure children’s safety online. The platform could have used the data of many children under 13 to track and profile them, and it might have presented them with harmful or inappropriate content.
The ICO has issued one of the largest fines ever, £12.7m, to TikTok due to these findings.The watchdog had previously issued TikTok with a “notice of intent,” a precursor to a potential fine. The company can appeal against the scale of the fine, and if successful, the ICO could reduce the final amount.
TikTok said that it had “invested heavily” to stop under-13s from accessing the site. However, the ICO found that the company had “taken no steps” to obtain parental consent. The platform’s spokesperson told the BBC that the safety team works around the clock to keep the community safe. The company disagrees with the decision made by the ICO, but it is satisfied that the fine has been reduced to less than half of the proposed amount.
Implications for TikTok
The UK government is set to pass the Online Safety Bill soon, which will mandate social networks to enforce strict age verification procedures. Failing to adhere to these regulations will lead to fines.Many Western countries fear that the Chinese government could access user data on TikTok, leading to potential further scrutiny of the platform. Government devices in Canada, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, Taiwan, the UK, the US, and the European Commission already ban the use of TikTok.
Also Read This :