TikTok, a popular short video sharing platform, has been under scrutiny for its subpar data handling methods and ties with Chinese government for a while now. The application was recently banned in India and is currently undergoing a few trials in the US as well.
According to a recent report, TikTok developers are in deep waters in South Korea as well. The Korean Communications Commission (KCC) has fined the company for 186 million won or roughly 155,000 US Dollars for mishandling of child data.
For the uninitiated, KCC acts as the regulator and overwatches the country’s telecommunications and data related sectors just like PTA in Pakistan.
The fine follows reports of ByteDance (TikTok parent company) failing to protect users’ private data specifically youngsters in the region.
The fine translates into 3 percent of the company’s annual sales within the country. This is the pre-decided percentage of fines for such violations under local privacy laws. The KCC started investigating the company’s data handling methods back in October 2019 and found that TikTok collected data of children under the age of 14 without consent from their legal guardians.
KCC has detailed that a minimum of 6,007 pieces of child data were collected between 31st May 2017 and 6th December 2019. Moreover, TikTok failed to notify the organization that the data was being transferred overseas. According to the investigation, the Chinese application uses four cloud services, i.e., Alibaba Cloud, Fastly, Edgecast, and Firebase.
This news arrives just a few weeks after TikTok announced that it would be exiting the Hong Kong market, due to China’s new security laws.