Chinese social media giant TikTok has been fined £12.7 million ($15.9 million) by the UK's Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a number of breaches of the data protection law, including misusing children's data.
The office said on Tuesday that around 1.4 million children in the UK under the minimum age of 13 joined TikTok in 2020, despite the country's rules not allowing children that age to create an account.
"UK data protection law says that organisations that use personal data when offering information society services to children under 13 must have consent from their parents or carers," the ICO noted.
The office added that TikTok failed to obtain permission and to carry out enough controls to identify or remove underage children from its platform.
The large fine comes as TikTok is under fire in a number of countries, including the US and European Union countries, over fears that data from the privately owned platform may be accessed and exploited by the Chinese government.