UK May Impose a £27 Million Fine On TikTok For Children Privacy Breach

tiktok is one

Tiktok is one of the most popular video-posting apps right now. The app is widely used both privately and professionally, by celebrities, companies, to teenagers. The app has 1 billion users worldwide. Of those, around 62% of its users are between 10 and 29.

But are the young users and the constant content being posted on the app safe?

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) claims the video-sharing platform has inappropriately processed the data of those under-13s without consent. The breach is said to have been processed for more than two years from May 2018 until July 2020. 

TikTok Inc. and Information Technologies UK Limited have received a “notice of intent” from the ICO, a legal document that comes before a potential penalty.

Information Commissioner John Edwards said:

“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.”

According to ICO’s investigation, the platform was found to have-

  • 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 so

TikTok and Privacy

TikTok has implemented a range of measures to improve user privacy and security, such as letting parents link their accounts to their kids and banning direct messaging for users under the age of 16.

Recent privacy policy updates revealed that the app might collect biometric information “including faceprints and voiceprints.” While this is already quite scary and concerning, the app said the data is collected for them to enable special video effects, content moderation, and ad recommendations. 

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