UK spy chief tells parents not to worry about letting kids on TikTok
Top UK spy chief has said he wouldn’t tell youngsters to keep away from TikTok, despite concerns from the government about the Chinese app’s safety.
The director of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming told BBC Radio 4’s Today show that he would not be concerned if his own children used the social media, but said he would discuss the way personal data is used because he thought people needed to understand that “there is no free good here”.
“Make the most of it, make those videos, use TikTok, but just think before you do,” he explained.
Fleming said that whilst Russia poses us a very real threat, China is perhaps a more longer term threat, especially “around science and technology”.
He said he wants to encourage more of a debate about how the Chinese state operate alongside technology.
Back in July, Liz Truss pledged to crack down on Chinese-owned tech firms in her first head-to-head debate to become the next Prime Minister.
Last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that TikTok could have processed personal data of children under the age of 13 without parental permission between May 2018 and July 2020.
The provisional finding means the video-sharing platform could be whacked with a fine of up to £27m, the largest to date from the ICO.
According to filings from the UK’s Companies House, the ByteDance-owned firm reported a turnover of more than $990m for the calendar year, compared with $172m the previous year.