The British privacy regulator ICO has fined TikTok the equivalent of 14.5 million euros for misusing the data of British children. According to the authority, it is estimated that more than a million British children under the age of thirteen are active on TikTok, while this is contrary to the conditions. Furthermore, TikTok used the personal data of children under the age of thirteen, without the consent of their parents.
In addition, according to the ICO, TikTok did not do enough to control who uses the platform and did not do enough to delete the minor children who had an account. UK privacy legislation requires organisations offering their services to children under the age of thirteen to have parental or guardian consent.
TikTok did not, even though it should have known that children under the age of thirteen were using the platform, the ICO states. The popular video app also did not conduct adequate checks to identify and remove too young children. In addition, personal data of UK users was not processed in a lawful, fair and transparent manner.
The UK privacy regulator originally planned to fine TikTok the equivalent of 31 million euros. But after TikTok’s defense, the ICO decided not to pursue a finding about the unlawful use of special personal data. As a result, this possible violation was not taken into account and the final fine came to 14.5 million euros.