In the age of digital connectivity, social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives. TikTok, with its short-form videos and viral trends, has quickly risen to prominence, especially among the younger generation. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and TikTok has faced significant scrutiny over its handling of user data. In this blog, we will delve into the allegations and concerns surrounding TikTok’s compliance with data protection laws.


The Rise of TikTok


TikTok, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, burst onto the scene in 2016 and has since amassed over a billion users worldwide. Its appeal lies in its addictive and highly engaging format, allowing users to create, share, and discover short video clips set to music. However, TikTok’s rapid growth has also raised questions about its privacy practices and data handling procedures.


Allegations of Data Breaches


TikTok has faced numerous allegations of breaching data protection laws in various countries, particularly in the United States and the European Union. Some of the key concerns include:


  1. Data Collection: TikTok collects a vast amount of user data, including location data, device information, browsing history, and even facial recognition data. Critics argue that this extensive data collection goes beyond what is necessary for the platform’s functionality and raises questions about user consent and transparency.


  1. Children’s Privacy: TikTok has faced significant backlash for its handling of children’s data. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States fined TikTok $5.7 million for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by collecting personal information from children under 13 without parental consent.


  1. Data Sharing: Concerns have also arisen regarding TikTok’s sharing of user data with third parties, including advertisers. Some claim that user data may be shared with Chinese authorities, raising national security and privacy concerns, particularly in countries like the United States.


Legal Actions and Investigations


TikTok’s data protection practices have not gone unnoticed by regulatory authorities. Several countries have launched investigations and legal actions against the platform:


  1. United States: The U.S. government initiated a national security review of TikTok in 2019, which led to concerns about the potential for data to be accessed by the Chinese government. The Trump administration sought to ban TikTok, although these efforts were met with legal challenges.


  1. European Union: TikTok is under investigation by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for potential violations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This investigation aims to determine whether TikTok complies with the EU’s stringent data protection laws.


TikTok’s Response


TikTok has responded to these allegations by emphasizing its commitment to user privacy and security. The platform has made efforts to enhance transparency, including publishing its data privacy practices and allowing users to see how their data is used. TikTok has also pledged to store user data outside of China to address concerns about government access.




The rise of TikTok has brought joy and entertainment to millions of users worldwide, but it has also raised serious questions about data protection and privacy. Allegations of data breaches, particularly with regard to children’s privacy and data sharing with third parties, have led to investigations and legal actions in various countries.


As TikTok continues to navigate these challenges, it faces the crucial task of striking a balance between providing an engaging platform for users and ensuring robust data protection practices. Ultimately, the outcome of ongoing investigations and legal actions will shape the future of TikTok’s data protection policies and its place in the global digital landscape. Users must remain vigilant about their privacy and demand transparency from the platforms they use, ensuring that their personal data is handled responsibly and in compliance with the law.


If you have any concerns about your personal or company’s data protection, please give us a ring on 0161 850 9911.