The Republic of Korea Supports India and US in Punishing TikTok​

India and the United States have been criticizing the Chinese video app TikTok over alleged mishandling of user’s private information. According to a government official, South Korea is joining the movement to punish TikTok.

South Korea’s top telecom regulator has recently finished its investigation into TikTok over the suspicion that this Chinese media platform has been handing its users’ personal information over to the Chinese government.

The Korea Communication Commissions (KCC) also claimed that TikTok did not obtain the consent of legal representatives of Korean users under the age of 14.

 "We will hold a meeting about whether to impose a fine on TikTok on Wednesday, and the results will be announced the same day," said an official from the KCC's personal data infringement department.

The KCC has been investigating TikTok over allegations since last October. The state-run agency recently completed the investigation with data related to cybersecurity issues provided by TikTok’s headquarter in Singapore.

Korea’s Personal Information Protection Act requires internet service providers to obtain the consent of legal guardians if they wish to obtain the children’s personal information.  However, KCC has conducted an investigation into whether TikTok has been complying with the act.

According to the Information Communications Network Act, the Chinese media platform must pay a fine of up to 3% of the business’s yearly revenue if the KCC decides to impose a fine.

TikTok is an app-based in China with more than 800 million active global users.  Launched in 2016, the app allows user to tell their stories in a 15-second to 1-minute video.  It has been downloaded 2 billion times worldwide, and there are around 3 million Korean users using this application.

Despite its popularity, TikTok has been criticized by many countries for poor user data management.

After the India-China border conflict, New Delhi issued a statement that it would ban 59 Chinese apps and services, including TikTok, and ordered local telecommunications operators and Internet service providers to block access.

Similarly, the U.S. is also deciding to ban TikTok seeing it as a “cybersecurity threat” to the government and its people.

ByteDance, the app operator, was fined $5.7 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in February last year for obtaining children’s personal data without legal guardians’ consent. The U.S. Navy also prohibits TikTok from government-issued mobile devices. 

Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State said recently that the U.S. is considering banning Chinese social media platforms, especially TikTok as tensions between the US and China over national security, trade and technology issues persisted.

Source: TheKorea Times

By: Kimsreng Lay