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UK watchdog fines TikTok $15.9M for kid data misuse.

Photo: Tiktok

TikTok was fined millions by Britain’s privacy authorities Tuesday for exploiting children’s data and breaking other data regulations.

The short-video sharing app, popular with teens, was fined 12.7 million pounds ($15.9 million) by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

It’s the latest example of Western countries’ growing concerns over data privacy and cybersecurity vulnerabilities posed by TikTok and its parent, Chinese internet startup ByteDance.

The British watchdog, which investigated data breaches between May 2018 and July 2020, found that TikTok let 1.4 million U.K. children under 13 use the app in 2020, despite its rules barring them from creating accounts.

The agency said TikTok failed to identify and delete under-13s. In addition, the commission claimed TikTok failed to get parental authorization to process data from younger children, as British data protection regulations required.

“There are regulations to protect our children online and offline. Information Commissioner John Edwards stated that TikTok violated such rules in a news statement.

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