The UK is fining TikTok £12.7 million (around €14.5 million) for breaching children’s privacy under its data protection law.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that it has fined TikTok nearly £13 million for “a number of breaches” of the law. on the country’s data protection. The ICO’s decision to fine TikTok is motivated by the fact that around 1.4 million UK children under the age of 13 were allowed to register on the platform in 2020, although the Company rules prohibit such use.
This is a breach of the UK’s General Data Protection Regulation (similar to EU GDPR), the ICO said in a statement. The UK GDPR requires companies that use personal data to offer services to children under 13 to have permission from a parent or guardian to do so. The regulator also noted that “high-ranking employees” of TikTok were aware of the presence of underage users on the platform and failed to respond adequately to the issue. “There are laws that ensure our children are as safe in the digital world as they are in the physical world,” Britain’s Information Commissioner John Edwards said in the statement. “TikTok should have been better informed. TikTok should have done better,” he adds.
The ICO also accused TikTok of failing to provide clear information to users about how their personal data is collected and used, and of failing to ensure that user data is handled in accordance with the law. The UK government had originally planned to fine TikTok more than twice the £12.7 million (about 14.5 million euros) announced today. However, the ICO said today that the company’s arguments convinced regulators not to act on an earlier tentative finding that the company had also used special category data unlawfully, thereby reducing the total amount of the fine compared to the initial figure of 33.7 million dollars.
“Our [£12.7million] fine reflects the serious impact their misconduct may have had,” Mr Edwards said. “They didn’t do enough to verify who was using their platform or to take sufficient steps to remove underage children who were using their platform.” TikTok said in a statement that it was reviewing the decision. Although it disagreed with the UK’s action, a spokesperson said the company was pleased that regulators had reduced the total amount of the fine from the original amount.
Banned From Government Devices And Supervised in Some Countries
“TikTok is a platform intended for users aged 13 and over,” said the social network’s spokesperson. “We are investing heavily to prevent under 13s from accessing the platform.” The Chinese social media giant has long come under fire from regulators in Europe over its privacy concerns. Several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, have banned its use on government devices, while Australia and New Zealand are in the process of imposing similar restrictions.
This article is originally published on lemondeinformatique.fr