TikTok UK fined for misusing childrens' data

Occurred: July 2019

TikTok was fined GBP 12.7 million by the UK privacy regulator for multiple failures to protect children on its platform between May 2018 and July 2020. 

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) ruled that TikTok had failed to stop approximately 1.4 million under-age children using its service in 2020, contrary to its own terms of service, none of which had gained the consent of their parents or guardians - contrary to UK law. 

The ICO also charged TikTok with not providing sufficient, easy-to-understand information about how user data is collected, used, and shared, without which children were unlikely to have been able to make informed decisions about their use of the platform.

The ICO also said that the children’s data may have been used to track and profile them, and potentially present them with harmful or inappropriate content. 

The fine was one of the largest issued by the ICO. 

Operator: ByteDance/TikTok
Developer: ByteDance/TikTok
Country: UK
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Process personal data
Issue: Privacy
Transparency: Governance; Privacy

Legal, regulatory 👩🏼‍⚖️

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: December 2021
Last updated: April 2023