Challenges Increase For TikTok As App Fined $15 Million For Allowing Young Kids Access To The Platform

Things are not looking great for the popular short video platform TikTok after the leading social media app received a mega fine worth $15.9 million from the UK recently.

Regulators in the country revealed how the app has been heavily punished for allowing young audiences access to its platform, which is a clear breach of its data protection regulations. This includes failing to make use of kids’ personal data lawfully.

As per estimates outlined in a new report, this is up to 1.4 million kids in the United Kingdom who were below the designated age of 13 and yet was still allowed on the app in 2020. TikTok’s rules boldly state that no kids of that age would be given permission to make accounts but the fact that all of this still took place is mind-boggling.

This fine is the first major one to arise under the UK law that is designated to provide protection to minor users online. Moreover, regulators in the UK even passed on an alert to the app owned by ByteDance that it would be investigated for this purpose last year in September.

It’s interesting how the app was also called on to enhance processes and make sure compliance was being done regarding the latest rules and regulations. During this time, the financial penalty was stated to be around 27 million British Pounds but we’re seeing how the actual one is quite less than that figure- a clear indication that negotiations took place.

Meanwhile, today’s mega fine announcement is the end of the investigation with ICO claiming that they’ve set precedents with these types of actions. Nevertheless, the penalty is major and much higher than fines received for a violation of a similar extent in America.

Way back in the year 2019, TikTok got another fine worth $5 million for collecting users’ data belonging to underaged US citizens that got access to the app, without providing any form of parental consent. Due to such a penalty, the app set out new rules which require users to give verification of their age. And in case they happen to be below the age of 13, they’re redirected to another in-app experience that’s more confined and limits viewership and commenting on posts, including a limit on who is allowed to send DMs too.

But if you think this is enough to prevent underage users from signing up for this platform, you’re mistaken. Therefore, TikTok is making the most of the matter by including more advanced tools and processes for verification to address users’ concerns on the matter. Still, such breaches are going to be punished so as per the rules outlined, TikTok is not allowed to skip this fine.

And with TikTok being so popular with younger users, you can only imagine how and why this matter is a huge concern.

As per reports from The New York Times, TikTok’s userbase proved to have individuals above the age of 14. We agree that shifts do occur with time but this provides an in-depth analysis of the actual problem at hand.

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