UK regulator fines TikTok $15.9 million for misuse of kids' data

Misusing children's data is just one of several data protection breaches brought against TikTok.


TikTok has been under a great deal of scrutiny lately as international governments question the company’s data protection and potentially harmful effects. Most recently, CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before Congress in the United States to testify against concerns surrounding TikTok’s privacy practices. Now, TikTok has another serious matter on its plate as the UK has fined the social media company $15.9 million for multiple data protection violations, including misusing kids’ data.

We caught wind of the UK’s Information Commissioner's Office’s fine against TikTok via an ABC News report earlier today. According to the group, TikTok allowed 1.4 million children under the age of 13 to register accounts and use the platform in 2020, a direct violation of its terms of service. The group goes on to state that TikTok was aware of underage children using the platform, but did not take measures to identify them or receive consent from their parents.

The TikTok logo on a black background.

Source: ByteDance

“TikTok should have known better. TikTok should have done better,“ said Information Commissioner John Edwards in a statement. He explained the 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.”

Recently, TikTok has been making attempts to assuage concerns surrounding its addictiveness, particularly for children. Last month, TikTok announced that it would be instituting a daily 1-hour screen time limit for teenagers.

The UK regulator fined TikTok 12.7 million pounds, which roughly translates to $15.9 million USD. As government officials call for the app to be banned, and momentum against TikTok owner ByteDance grows, the app’s future is uncertain.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

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