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TikTok could face GBP 27m for failing to protect children‘s privacy

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Video-sharing platform TikTok could be slapped GBP 27 million (around PHP 1.73 billion) for failing to protect children’s privacy on the platform.
Social media giant TikTok

TikTok vs multi-million pound fine

According to a BBC report, the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) flagged the possibility that the platform may have processed the data of children under 13 years old without appropriate consent.

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.

He further noted that companies have the “legal duty to put those protections in place,” but TikTok failed to do so.

The agency noted the breach happened over two years ago until July 2020, but there were still no final conclusions.

In its investigation, ICO said TikTok possibly committed the following:

processed the data of children under the age of 13 without appropriate parental consent failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent and easily understood way processed special category data, without legal grounds to do soA "notice of intent" has been issued to TikTok Inc. and TikTok Information Technologies UK Limited. This legal document precedes a potential fine.

This also sets out the ICO’s provisional view that TikTok breached data protection law between May 2018 and July 2020.
File photo: TikTok logo

For its part, TikTok disputes the findings, noting they are "provisional."

This notice of intent, covering the period May 2018-July 2020, is provisional and as the ICO itself has stated, no final conclusions can be drawn at this time, a TikTok spokesperson said.

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, he added.

Ofcom data shows that 44 percent of eight to 12-year-olds in the UK use TikTok, despite its policies prohibiting those younger than 13 years old on the platform.

TikTok has put in place features to strengthen the privacy and safety of its users, like allowing parents to link their accounts to their children’s as well as disabling direct messaging under 16 years old.

Previously, TikTok was also fined by American and South Korean authorities for mishandling children’s data.

Do you think TikTok should be formally fined?

Source: BBC
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