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FTC Investigating TikTok, May Soon Seek Legal Action.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the social media app TikTok over allegations it violated federal law regarding data and security practices. TikTok, owned by the Chinese entertainment and technology conglomerate ByteDance, has come under increasing scrutiny over its handling of American user data and its impact on U.S. national security.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have renewed efforts that began under former President Donald Trump to force ByteDance to either divest from TikTok or see the app banned.

 

Key elements of the FTC probe involve alleged violations of a federal law that prohibits “unfair and deceptive” business practices and contravening provisions of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC is seeking to determine whether TikTok lied to U.S. government officials when it claimed that American user data was not being shared with ByteDance employees in China. Several whistleblowers have come forward, claiming that the data protections TikTok claims to have instituted are a facade and that American user data is still accessible by its China-based parent company.

In addition to the data concerns, the U.S. government regulatory agency is also investigating whether the social media company is in compliance with a federal provision that requires parental consent for the use of child-accessible applications for minors under the age of 13. Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed a similar requirement into law, with social media companies needing to now attain parent consent for users under 14.

 

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