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TikTok may face £27m fine for ‘failing to protect children’s privacy’

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TikTok has been accused of processing the data of children under the age of 13 between 2018 and 2020, breaking UK data protection law and making the company vulnerable to a potentially hefty fine.

FILE PHOTO: TikTok app logo is seen in this illustration taken, August 22, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

TikTok may face a £27m fine for a possible breach of UK data protection law by failing to protect children’s privacy on the platform.

Information commissioner John Edwards said: “We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections.

“I’ve been clear that our work to better protect children online involves working with organizations but will also involve enforcement action where necessary.”

MORE ON PRIVACY

Mr Edwards also revealed the ICO has a total of six investigations under way into firms providing digital services which have not “taken their responsibilities around child safety seriously enough”.

The Children’s Code was introduced in September 2021, putting in place new data protection codes of practice for online services likely to be used by children.

The ICO is yet to reach a conclusion on its findings and is ready to “carefully consider any representations” from TikTok before making a final decision.

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A TikTok spokesperson said: “While we respect the ICO’s role in safeguarding privacy in the UK, we disagree with the preliminary views expressed and intend to formally respond to the ICO in due course.”

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Samuel Kwame Boadu

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