Today, TikTok was fined by the Korea Communications Commission for mishandling child data. The fine was of 186m Won. KCC said that the video-sharing app collected the data of children under 14 years old without consent from their legal guardians. The fine imposed on the social media app is roughly 3% of the revenue TikTok makes in a year.
TikTok has always been under fire for its privacy reasons, and this happening in South Korea fuels the fire as the concerns for users’ privacy are growing. TikTok said that it was deeply committed to obeying the laws; however, the actions suggest otherwise.
TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly, was fined $5.7 million last year for the same reason of not protecting children’s data. You would imagine that they would have learned by now as the company has changed its name and is much more famous, but alas, a year later, a similar thing happened. Following the investigation of last year’s mishap, the regulators found that over 6000 records were collected illegally within six months. The data was also being transferred overseas without the knowledge of the users.
TikTok is already in a dire situation as it is either banned or is heavily considered to be banned in several countries. This news comes a week after the United States government considered banning Chinese social media apps. The social media app was also banned in India last month due to the growing tensions on India-China borders. TikTok is also shutting its door from Hong Kong after the Chinese government enforced new laws, which restricted the freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory.
Will this mishap may be the match to the powder keg TikTok is sitting on? Will we see a ban of TikTok from major countries due to its weak privacy? Only time will tell, and we can just wait.