TikTok has been fined the sum of £12.7 million that’s $15.9 million for allowing up to 1.4 million children under 13 to use its social media platform in violation of its own rules by Britain’s data regulator.
According to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Chinese-owned firm broke UK law by failing to obtain the consent of parents or guardians to use the children’s data, after they had set up accounts despite being too young.
TikTok disputed the ICO’s finding, which adds to its woes after a wave of bans by Western governments of the platform’s use on official devices, owing to fears that the data could be accessed by Beijing.
TikTok nevertheless welcomed a decision by the ICO to slash the fine from £27 million, which the regulator had previously warned it might impose.
The popular video-sharing platform’s terms of service do not permit children under 13 to set up accounts.
But the ICO said TikTok had failed to carry out adequate checks to stop that happening in Britain, and up to 1.4 million children were affected in 2020.