Video-sharing app TikTok is in the news again for negative reasons it has been fined for mishandling children’s data in South Korea, amid growing concerns about users’ privacy.
The company was fined 186m won (£123,000) by the Korea Communications Commission (KCC).
The KCC, the country’s media watchdog, said TikTok collected data of children under 14 years old without the consent of legal guardians.
TikTok said it was “deeply committed” to meeting the requirements of the law.
The fine is roughly 3% of the social media platform’s yearly revenue.
In an investigation which began last year, the regulator found that more than 6,000 records involving children were collected over six months, violating local privacy laws.
The Chinese firm also failed to inform users that personal data was transferred overseas, the watchdog added.
“We hold ourselves to very high standards on data privacy, and work to continuously improve and strengthen our standards,” a TikTok spokesperson said.
This news comes a week after the United States said it was considering banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.
In February last year, the Musical.ly app – which was later acquired and incorporated into TikTok – was fined a record $5.7m (£4.3m) for not protecting children’s data privacy in the United States.
The Federal Trade Commission said the platform knowingly hosted content published by underage users.
India also banned the app last month following escalating tensions with China after over disputed borders.
Then, earlier this month, TikTok announced that it was exiting the Hong Kong market after the enforcement of new security laws by China.
The law has restricted freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory, raising concerns of official oversight of social media.
(source bbc news)