TikTok fined £13m for child privacy ‘breaches’

April 4, 2023


TikTok has been fined nearly £13m failing to protect children’s privacy, the UK’s data watchdog has announced.

An Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) report found the video-sharing app breached data protection law between May 2018 and July 2020.

While TikTok has disputed the ICO’s decision, it is one of the largest fines the regulator has issued.

In September, the ICO gave TikTok with a “notice of intent” claiming TikTok allowed up to 1.4m UK children under 13 to use its platform in 2020.

TikTok’s own rules forbid children of that age, who must have parental consent, to create an account.

Information commissioner John Edwards said: “There are laws in place to make sure our children are as safe in the digital world as they are in the physical world. TikTok did not abide by those laws.


“As a consequence, an estimated one million under 13s were inappropriately granted access to the platform, with TikTok collecting and using their personal data. That means that their data may have been used to track them and profile them, potentially delivering harmful, inappropriate content at their very next scroll.

“TikTok should have known better. TikTok should have done better. Our £12.7m fine reflects the serious impact their failures may have had.”

A TikTok spokesman told the BBC: “Our 40,000 strong safety team works around the clock to help keep the platform safe for our community.

“While we disagree with the ICO’s decision, which relates to May 2018 – July 2020, we are pleased that the fine announced today has been reduced to under half the amount proposed last year.

“We will continue to review the decision and are considering next steps.”

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