- TikTok has been fined £12.7 ($15.9) million by U.K. privacy regulators for failing to protect children’s data, in a fresh blow to the Chinese-owned app.
TikTok has been fined £12.7 ($15.9) million by U.K. privacy regulators for failing to protect children’s data, in a fresh blow to the Chinese-owned app as it faces heightened scrutiny from regulators.
The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that it was fining TikTok for “a number of breaches of data protection law, including failing to use children’s personal data lawfully.”
TikTok allowed 1.4 million children under the age of 13 to use the app in 2020, despite its own rules requiring users to be above this age to create a TikTok account, the watchdog said.
John Edwards, the U.K. Information Commissioner, said in a statement that TikTok “should have known better” and “should have done better.”
“Our £12.7m fine reflects the serious impact their failures may have had. They did not do enough to check who was using their platform or take sufficient action to remove the underage children that were using their platform,” he added.
The ICO had previously proposed fining TikTok £25 million for this privacy violation.
The penalty comes amid calls for the app to be banned in the U.S. over national security concerns, and after administrations in the U.S., U.K. and several other countries prohibited the app from government-issued devices.
TikTok’s CEO Shou Xi addressed app security concerns from U.S. lawmakers last month. He denied that TikTok had any links to the Beijing government and that he has ever held any discussions with Chinese government officials