TikTok Could Be Fined For Child Privacy Failures

TikTok could be fined for child privacy failures. The social media platform could be in line to face a hefty fine of about $29M for possibly failing to protect the privacy of kids following a probe in the United Kingdom.

TikTok Could Be Fined For Child Privacy Failures

TikTok Could Be Fined For Child Privacy Failures

Social media platform TikTok could be slapped with a fine of $29.3M. This is following a probe by the UK privacy watchdog on how the platform handles data that belong to kids. And in its preliminary findings that were published on Monday, the office of the information commissioner said that the company may in its activities breach UK data protection law by failing in its part to protect the privacy of kids on the platform.

The ICO in a statement sent to TikTok between May 2018 and July 2020 said that the company may have processed the data of kids without the consent of their parents. And further potential failures include not providing transparent and clear information to users and thus illegally processing sensitive data.

TikTok Is Not the Only Company That Is Under the Scopes for Privacy Protection

TikTok at the moment is not the only company that is under the scope for privacy protection that is afforded to children. Currently, the ICO is looking into how 50 different online services and platforms conform to the children’s code of the UK and also has six open investigations into various companies that it thinks have not taken their responsibilities quite seriously.

The scrutiny of digital companies in the UK including the ongoing introduction of the Online Safety Bill is all part of a wider push by many countries and regions all over the world to step up in their regulatory efforts in providing children with better protections as they continue making use of the internet.

The ICO’s Statement in Regards to the New Development

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections,” Information Commissioner, John Edwards, said in a statement. “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.”

TikTok’s Response to the New Development

In a statement, a spokesperson from TikTok noted that the findings of the ICO were provisional thus meaning that no final conclusions can be made at this time. “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,” they stated.

The ICO has stated that it would not be making or considering any points that TikTok has to make before it issues a final decision on whether it should go ahead with the fine. Edwards further said that “I’ve been clear that our work to better protect children online involves working with organizations but will also involve enforcement action where necessary.”


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