TikTok May Be Fined $27k Following Investigation Establishing Breach Of Uk Data Protection Laws

TikTok May Be Fined $27k Following Investigation Establishing Breach Of Uk Data Protection Laws

By James Simons-

Britain could fine TikTok 27 million pounds ($28.91 million) following an investigation that found the short-form video app may have breached UK’s data protection law by failing to safeguard privacy of children using the platform.

The recently announced investigation found that TikTok could have processed data of children under the age of 13 without appropriate parental consent and failed to provide proper information to its users in a transparent way.

The watchdog issued the social media platform with a “notice of intent” – a legal document that generally comes before a fine.

The document sets out that between May 2018 and July 2020, TikTok may 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 and processed special category data without legal grounds to do so.

The ICO investigation found the company may have failed to process 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, and
processed special category data, without legal grounds to do so.

The Commissioner said its findings in the notice are ”provisional”, and that no conclusion should be drawn at this stage that there has, in fact, been any breach of data protection law or that a financial penalty will ultimately be imposed. We will carefully consider any representations from TikTok before taking a final decision.

In a statement, the regulator said The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued TikTok and TikTok Information Technologies UK Ltd with a “notice of intent”, the regulator 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,” Information Commissioner John Edwards 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,” a TikTok spokesperson said

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.”

Mr Edwards said the ICO is looking into how more than 50 different online services are conforming with the Children’s Code and have “six ongoing investigations looking into companies providing digital services who haven’t, in our initial view, taken their responsibilities around child safety seriously enough”

ICO’s provisional view suggests that TikTok breached UK data protection law between May 2018 and July 2020.

In July, the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee voted to approve a measure that would raise the age children are given special online privacy protections to 16 and bar targeted advertising to children by companies such as TikTok and Snapchat without consent.

Digital World

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.”

Mr Edwards said the ICO is looking into how more than 50 different online services are conforming with the Children’s Code and have “six ongoing investigations looking into companies providing digital services who haven’t, in our initial view, taken their responsibilities around child safety seriously enough”

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