UK Punishes TikTok for Disturbing Kids’ Data Collection

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With the UK taking an unprecedented stance towards TikTok, it is clear that the country is attempting to make a statement on the dangers this social media app may possess. Developing countries like India have already taken drastic steps in banning the application from their countries and now it appears that other nations like Britain are calling for constructive measures to hold the social media giant accountable.

The British government’s privacy watchdog recently levied a hefty fine on the popular Chinese social media app, TikTok. The low level fine of nearly $16 million was imposed due to the company’s reported exploitation of child users’ data. If this continues, this could pose a huge blow to TikTok.  

Free Beacon reports, A fine of $15.9 million was imposed on TikTok on Tuesday after the Information Commissioner’s Office of Britain accused the app of illegally collecting data from children. As a result of allowing over a million underage children to create accounts, the platform was charged with violating British law and its own terms.

Since TikTok’s close relationship with China’s Communist Party poses a national security threat and privacy concerns, the fine comes at a time when the company is under scrutiny worldwide.

John Edwards, commissioner of information, in a press release said, “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.”

The British law requires parental consent before collecting children’s online data. Despite TikTok’s minimum age limit of 13, 1.4 million British children under 13 still used the app in 2020.

Edwards continued, “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.”

Despite the allegations against TikTok, the platform denied them.

Sky News spoke extensively about the breaking news. 

This tactic has been the first of its kind used by any country to fine the social media company and should be considered as a solution if discussions of banning the app fall through here in the U.S. However, the ultimate goal should be to prevent data from being sent to the CCP. If a proper bill is proposed to ban the app, then we should aim for the ban all together.

Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.

Next News Network Team

Next News Network Team

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