To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

UK’s spy chief issues urgent warning to ‘think before you use TikTok’

UK’s spy chief issues urgent warning to ‘think before you use TikTok’

The GCHQ boss has his problems with the video app.

The chief of the GCHQ has warned people to 'think before they TikTok', and really consider what information they share on the app.

Sir Jeremy Fleming, who had a long career in MI5 before becoming the director of GCHQ, urged parents, in particular, to be mindful about how their children are using TikTok and sharing their personal data.

He suggested that the Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, for surveillance opportunities.

Fleming also made a point to remind those using the app that 'there is no free good here', and that people are really being entertained for hours on end in exchange for their data.

Cyberstock / Alamy Stock Photo

That doesn't mean that we should all stop using TikTok, Sir Jeremy told BBC Radio 4's Today. We just need to be wary about where our personal data is being shared.

"No, I wouldn't (stop children from using TikTok), but I would speak to my child about the way in which they think about their personal data on their device," he said.

"I think it's really important from a very early age that we understand that there is no free good here. When we are using these services we are exchanging our data for that and if it's proportionate and we're happy with the way that data is safeguarded then that's great.

"Make the most of that, make those videos, use TikTok - but just think before you do."

This isn't the first time that concerns have been raised over TikTok's data use.

BBC Radio 4

Just last month, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) concluded that TikTok could have processed the personal data of children under the age of 13 without parental consent from May 2018 to July 2020.

It also found that owners ByteDance might have illegally processed special category data, and failed to offer users clear, concise information about how their data would be used.

Now, the video sharing app is facing a fine of up to £27 million - the largest fine in the ICO's history.

Information commissioner, John Edwards, said at the time: "We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections.

"Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement."

The ICO has yet to reach a conclusion on whether TikTok has breached data protection law.

Featured Image Credit: PA/Alamy Stock Photo/Pixabay

Topics: News, UK News, TikTok, Technology