How to Protect Your Child’s Privacy Online: Tips for Parents After TikTok Receives a £12.7m Fine
TikTok Fined £12.7m for Breaching Data Protection Law
It has been recently revealed that the Chinese owned short-video-sharing platform, TikTok, has received a hefty fine of £12.7 million from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). This fine comes as a result of their failure to protect children’s privacy when using the TikTok platform, breaching UK data protection law in the process.
The Failings of TikTok
TikTok failed to provide adequate protection measures around children’s data and also allowed underage users to set up accounts without parental consent or verification – allowing them access to videos and other content not suitable for their age group. This resulted in the ICO launching a thorough investigation into TikTok’s practices, which revealed that the platform was not compliant with data protection law.
The Response from the ICO
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued a statement about the fine, saying: “The large fine we have issued today reflects how seriously we view these failures. Children deserve privacy protections and it is essential that those making money from online services targeting them understand their obligations under the law.” She went on to say that the company had “adequate resources to implement measures designed to protect children’s privacy” but failed to do so.
What Does this Mean for TikTok?
This hefty fine has put TikTok in an unfavourable position when it comes to public perception. In addition, the platform is also facing scrutiny from US President Donald Trump over concerns that the app could be sharing user data with the Chinese government – which TikTok has denied.
The fine imposed by the ICO serves as a warning to other tech companies to take data protection seriously, or risk paying hefty fines. The case against TikTok should also serve as a reminder for parents and guardians to be vigilant when it comes to their children’s online activity, making sure they are using age-appropriate platforms and content.
Although this case has shed light on the importance of data protection, it is not to be forgotten that TikTok remains a popular platform for millions of people. With the appropriate measures and safeguards in place, children can continue to enjoy using the app while also being aware of their online privacy.
How Can Parents Protect Children’s Privacy Online?
In today’s digital age, parents may feel overwhelmed or uncertain when it comes to protecting their child’s privacy online. With so many different platforms available, it can be hard to know which ones are safe for kids and how you can ensure their data is secure. Here are some tips for parents who want to keep their children safe online:
1. Monitor their Online Activity – It’s important to stay up-to-date on what your child is doing online and the platforms they are using. Talk to them about where they are going and the kind of content they are viewing, as well as when and how long they spend online.
2. Research Platforms before Signing Up – Before letting your child join a platform, make sure you research it thoroughly and understand any potential risks associated with it, such as data sharing or identity theft. If you’re unsure about something, it’s best to opt for an alternative platform.
3. Discuss Online Safety with Your Child – Make sure that your child understands the importance of online safety. Teach them about how to protect their privacy, such as not clicking on suspicious links or giving out personal information to strangers.
4. Set Boundaries and Agree on Rules – Have a discussion with your child about the kind of content they should be viewing and for what purpose. Set boundaries around when and where they can use certain platforms, and make sure that you are aware of any changes in their activity.
5. Check Privacy Settings Regularly – Ensure that your child’s privacy settings are updated regularly so that their data is secure from third parties or malicious actors who may try to access it without authorisation. It’s also important to keep an eye out for any updates that the platform may make.
By taking the time to understand your child’s online activity and setting boundaries around it, you can ensure that they have a safe and secure experience while using the internet. With that said, it is also important to remember that platforms like TikTok are still popular among many young people and should not be written off altogether. By educating children about online safety, parents can ensure that their kids use the platform responsibly and in a way that protects their privacy.