Head of Data and Privacy Litigation, Kingsley Hayes, comments on how TikTok’s £12.7 million fine by the ICO represents a clear neglect to protect young children in the UK after unlawfully processing their data.
Kingsley commented: “TikTok abjectly failed to protect British children and their data. TikTok knew that kids aged under 13 were accessing its app, but it simply didn’t take adequate steps to prevent this. This meant young kids could access content which may not have been appropriate for them. The ICO is right to have fined the company for failing to protect young children.
“Over a million young British kids were failed by TikTok in two ways. Firstly, the data collected may have been used to show them harmful, age-inappropriate content. Secondly, data about their preferences, browsing habits and personal profiles were collected and processed without parental consent.
“The British government recently banned TikTok app from government phones, citing cybersecurity concerns. Worryingly for parents, despite the ICO’s intervention, it may prove to be extremely difficult to have their children’s personal data removed from the app.”