TikTok is hit with a £12.7 million UK fine for violating its own children access rules

TikTok logo with Ai in background

TikTok keeps getting bad news. The popular social network has been banned from government devices in the US, and many other countries, including the UK. Today that same country also hit TikTok with a big £12.7 million (about $15.9 million) fine.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) stated the fine was due to TikTok allowing 1.4 million kids under 13 years of age to access its social networking app. That's a violation of TikTok's own terms of service. Under the country's data protection laws, parental consent must be given before companies like TikTok can allow children under 13 to access informational services that include the taking of personal data.

The ICO's press release stated:

TikTok failed to do that, even though it ought to have been aware that under 13s were using its platform. TikTok also failed to carry out adequate checks to identify and remove underage children from its platform. The ICO investigation found that a concern was raised internally with some senior employees about children under 13 using the platform and not being removed. In the ICO’s view TikTok did not respond adequately.

The (sort of) good news for TikTok is that the fine is much less than the £27 million fin the ICO originally planned to give to TikTok.

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