An investigation shows that TikTok may have used the personal information of children under 13 without their parent’s permission, which is against the UK’s data protection law.
Britain could fine TikTok 27 million pounds ($28.91 million) because it may have broken the country’s data protection law by not protecting the privacy of children who use the platform.
The investigation found that TikTok could have used the information of children younger than 13 without their parent’s permission and didn’t give its users the right information in a clear way.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) sent a “notice of intent” to TikTok and TikTok Information Technologies UK Ltd, the regulator said in a statement.
“Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement,” Information Commissioner John Edwards said.
In an email to Reuters, a spokesperson for TikTok 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.”
The ICO’s preliminary view is that between May 2018 and July 2020, TikTok broke UK data protection law.
In July, the US Senate Commerce Committee voted to pass a bill that would protect children’s privacy online until they are 16 and stop companies like TikTok and Snapchat from advertising to children without their permission.
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