TikTok under investigation following allegations over child data use

The video-sharing app, Tik Tok is being investigated by the ICO in regards to how it handles the personal data of its young users. 

Earlier this year, ByteDance, owner of TikTok was fined $5.7m by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for illegally collecting the personal  data of children under 13. The FTC had “received thousands of complaints from parents that their children under 13 had created Musical.ly accounts”. Musical.ly was the previous name to TikTok. 

Now the ICO will be investigating TikTok regarding concerns about how the private data of young users are being collected, as well as concerns about how the open messaging system on the app enables any adult to message any child. 

Under GPPR, the company is required “to provide different services and different protections for children” thus TikTok is potentially violating the regulation. 

The information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, and told a parliamentary committee that an investigation into TikTok had commenced in February. 

“We are looking at the transparency tools for children.

“We’re looking at the messaging system, which is completely open, we’re looking at the kind of videos that are collected and shared by children online. We do have an active investigation into TikTok right now, so watch this space.”

In a statement TikTok said:

“We cooperate with organizations such as the ICO to provide relevant information about our product to support their work. Ensuring data protection principles are upheld as a top priority for TikTok.”

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