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TikTok may be fined $29 million by the UK for children’s privacy failures

Written by Fri 30 Sep 2022


Social media giant TikTok is facing a major fine after the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) provisionally ruled that the company may have fallen short of their legal obligations around the UK’s data protection law.

An investigation by the ICO discovered examples of failures to protect the privacy of under 13’s on the TikTok platform. These breaches are alleged to have occurred between May 2018 and July 2020 as the ICO say TikTok processed the data of children under 13 without parental consent.

The ICO also say TikTok failed to provide proper information to users in a transparent and easily understood way and processed special category data without the legal grounds to do so.

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections. Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement”, said ICO Information Commissioner, John Edwards in a blog post.

Recently, TikTok got a “notice of intent” from the ICO, a legal document that precedes a potential fine. The social media company has stated that they will respond to this as soon as possible.

“While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the UK, we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO in due course”, a TikTok spokesperson said.

This possible breach occurred shortly after the US Senate Commerce Committee agreed to prohibit targeted advertising to minors on social media platforms like TikTok and to raise the age at which children receive particular online privacy safeguards to 16 years old. The measure is presently making its way through the Senate as a whole.

Written by Fri 30 Sep 2022


data privacy tiktok UK
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