TikTok faces $29 million fine for ‘failing to protect children’s privacy’ • The Register

TikTok faces a £27million fine ($29million at least) after a UK government investigation that found the Chinese media giant may have breached UK data protection laws and failed to protect children’s privacy.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced on Monday that it had issued a letter of intent to TikTok and its UK unit, TikTok Information Technologies, alleging the internet Goliath breached UK regulations between May 2018 and July 2020. A letter of intent precedes a possible fine governor.

However, if the ICO penalizes TikTok, the $29 million fine will likely be seen as a pure administration the tech giant, which is reported to generate billions in annual sales.

TikTok didn’t respond immediately The registry‘s request for comment.

According to the regulator’s investigation, TikTok may have processed the data of children under the age of 13 without parental consent and used “special category” data without any legal basis. This information includes ethnic and racial origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic and biometric data or health data.

Additionally, TikTok failed to provide information to users in an “accurate, transparent and easy-to-understand manner,” the regulator said.

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world but with adequate privacy,” said Information Commissioner John Edwards in a expression. “Companies offering digital services are required by law to take these safeguards, but our preliminary view is that TikTok has failed to meet that requirement.”

Edwards also pointed to ICO’s plans to take enforcement action against other companies.

“We are currently investigating how over 50 different online services comply with the Children’s Code and have six ongoing investigations looking at companies offering digital services that, in our initial view, do not take their responsibility for child safety seriously enough have taken,” he added.

The British “Children’s Code”, also known as age-appropriate design codeaims a secure internet for the kids by enforcing 15 standards that apps and online services must follow. It is specifically aimed at big tech names like Meta, YouTube and TikTok and will be applied to all companies, including those outside the UK, that process UK children’s personal data.

It’s worth mentioning California’s new child privacy law was modeled after the British version.

Carr’s TikTok as National Security Threat Tour is going to Europe

The ICO’s statement of intent comes as America’s FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called TikTok a “national security threat” during a technology forum in Brussels with EU lawmakers.

“Far from just another app for sharing funny videos or memes – that’s just sheep’s clothing – TikTok acts as a sophisticated surveillance tool that collects large amounts of personal and sensitive data,” he claimed in prepared remarks [PDF] to European politicians in Belgium.

“And recent reports show that there is no control over whether this sensitive data is accessed from within China.”

Carr, a Republican appointee to the Federal Communications Commission and a staunch opponent of the Chinese tech company, asked Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to do so over the summer Remove TikTok app from the iOS App Store and Google Play.

Carr’s letter to the two CEOs cited previous reports on TikTok as evidence that the TikTok app currently violates App Store and Google Play policies. TikTok’s data collection accounts range from no worse than Facebookby yes, OK, staff in China can access the data of the Americans. ®

https://www.theregister.com/2022/09/26/tiktok_uk_ico_privacy/ TikTok faces $29 million fine for ‘failing to protect children’s privacy’ • The Register

Laura Coffey

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