Wilmslow Tiktok has been fined £12.7m (€14.54m) in the UK for failing to respect children’s privacy. The company allowed up to 1.4 million children under the age of 13 to open an account in the country in 2020 – despite its own rules prohibiting it.
This was announced by the British data protection authority Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on Tuesday. Personal data from children was also used without parental consent, although British law requires it.
“Tiktok has also failed to implement adequate controls to identify and remove underage children from its platform,” it said. While some senior executives have raised concerns internally, the company has not responded appropriately. “Tiktok should have known better. Tiktok should have done better,” said agency chief John Edwards. “Our £12.7million penalty reflects the serious impact their mistakes could have had.”
Originally, the authority even imposed a fine of 27 million pounds. After objections from Tiktok, however, it was decided not to pursue “the preliminary findings regarding the illegal use” of some data categories.
In the meantime, the supervisory authority has published a code for the protection of children in the digital world. The regulations are aimed at online services such as apps, gaming platforms and social media sites.
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