TikTok fined £12.7m by the ICO

The ICO has fined TikTok £12.7 million for a number of breaches of data protection law, including failing to use children’s personal data lawfully.

According to the ICO’s press release at https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/media-centre/news-and-blogs/2023/04/ico-fines-tiktok-127-million-for-misusing-children-s-data/

  • More than one million UK children under 13 estimated by the ICO to be on TikTok in 2020, contrary to its terms of service.
  • Personal data belonging to children under 13 was used without parental consent.
  • TikTok “did not do enough” to check who was using their platform and take sufficient action to remove the underage children that were.

The ICO’s UK Information Commissioner issued a statement which reads:

“There are laws in place to make sure our children are as safe in the digital world as they are in the physical world. TikTok did not abide by those laws.

“As a consequence, an estimated one million under 13s were inappropriately granted access to the platform, with TikTok collecting and using their personal data. That means that their data may have been used to track them and profile them, potentially delivering harmful, inappropriate content at their very next scroll.

“TikTok should have known better. TikTok should have done better. Our £12.7m 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.”

– John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner

So what does this mean for us? Well, perhaps aside from reviewing our general use of TikTok, it reinforces how seriously we have to treat the processing of children’s data.

If you would like to review how you are demonstrating compliance in this, or any other area of the UK GDPR, our Data Protection Review is a great place to start. You can find out more by contacting us in the normal ways, use the contact form at https://zorva.info/about-us/contact-us/ or book a free 20-minute insight call at https://zorva.info/free-insight-call/