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Great Britain. TikTok fined heavily for violating data protection laws – ICO announcement

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TikTok has been fined by the UK Data Protection Authority. The fine is £12.7 million and the reason for the fine is a breach of data protection rules. It concerns the processing of data of children under the age of 13 without parental consent. A spokesman for TikTok said the company disagreed with the decision of the British office. “We are considering the next steps,” he added.

A total fine of £12.7m was imposed on TikTok Information Technologies UK Limited and TikTok Inc (TikTok) for a number of breaches of data protection legislation, “including the unlawful use of children’s personal data”.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has estimated that TikTok has allowed 1.4 million UK children under 13 to use the app, despite regulations that do not allow those under 13 to create an account on the platform. The data breaches occurred between May 2018 and July 2020. In the UK’s assessment, TikTok failed to carry out adequate checks to identify and remove underage children from its platform.

“There are laws that ensure our children are as safe in the digital world as they are in the physical world. TikTok has not respected these laws,” said British Information Commissioner John Edwards. He added that children may have been exposed to harmful or inappropriate content.

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A TikTok spokesperson responds

A spokesman for TikTok, quoted by Reuters, said the company did not agree with the ICO’s decision, but was pleased that the fine was lower than originally announced. Earlier, the office reported that TikTok could face a fine of up to £27m.

– We invest heavily to keep under 13s off the platform. Our 40,000-strong security team works around the clock to help keep the platform safe for our community. As he informed, the decision of the ICO will be analyzed. “We are considering the next steps,” he added.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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