FTC Investigates Alleged Law Violations and Refers Child Privacy Complaint to DOJ

(LibertySons.org) – In April, Congress passed a bill giving ByteDance an ultimatum — sell its interest in TikTok or have the app banned from the United States. President Joe Biden signed the measure into law, but the Chinese company isn’t going down without a fight. The next month, ByteDance filed suit against the US government, stating the law is unconstitutional. Now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is after the owners of TikTok.

On June 18, the FTC announced it was referring a complaint about ByteDance to the Department of Justice, claiming the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The privacy rule outlines certain requirements for websites or online services to follow when it comes to children under 13 years old.

The statement from the FTC said its investigation stemmed from Musical.ly, an app that TikTok acquired in 2019. The commission said its review found “reason to believe” that ByteDance either violated or was about to violate the law. The FTC felt it was in the public’s best interests to be forthcoming about its findings and referral to the DOJ.

TikTok was taken aback by the bold move. A spokesperson from the company told Fox Business that it had been working directly with the FTC for over 12 months to “address its concerns.” The statement revealed the company was “disappointed” the commission took the step “instead of continuing to work with TikTok to find a solution. Moreover, the spokesperson said TikTok denied the allegations, stating they “relate to past events and practices” that were either not true or already addressed.

The social media company insisted it has done a lot of work to “protect children” on the app and will continue that work. The spokesperson outlined some of the changes the company has made to ensure user safety on TikTok.

If ByteDance is unsuccessful in its lawsuit against the government regarding divesting from TikTok, the ban will occur on January 19, 2025.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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