The UK’s data watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has fined TikTok £12.7m for failing to protect the privacy of children. According to the ICO’s investigation, TikTok allowed up to 1.4 million children under the age of 13 to use the platform without parental consent in 2020. Despite TikTok’s rules requiring parental consent for children under 13 to use the platform, many were able to set up accounts without this.
The ICO found that TikTok may have used children’s data to track and profile them, potentially exposing them to harmful or inappropriate content. The fine is one of the largest issued by the ICO. TikTok has stated that it disagrees with the decision and is reviewing the next steps.
TikTok is a great platform and is fast gaining traction as a credible business forum, however, the safety of our children comes first and we hope that all social media platforms and marketers will take heed – we all have a part to play when it comes to the safety of our young people.