US DoJ to file lawsuit against TikTok for alleged children’s privacy violations

The Federal Trade Commission had earlier referred a complaint to the Department of Justice regarding potential infringements of children’s privacy by TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance.

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TikTok will be sued again by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in a consumer protection lawsuit against ByteDance’s TikTok later this year, focusing on alleged children’s privacy violations. The incentive for the legal move comes on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), but the DoJ will not pursue allegations that TikTok misled US consumers about data security, specifically dropping claims that the company failed to inform users that China-based employees could access their personal and financial information.

The decision suggests that the primary focus will now be on how TikTok handles children’s privacy. The FTC had referred to the DoJ a complaint against TikTok and its parent, ByteDance, concerning potential violations of children’s privacy, stating that it investigated TikTok and found evidence suggesting they may be breaking the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The federal act requires apps and websites aimed at kids to get parental consent before collecting personal information from children under 13.

Simultaneously, TikTok and ByteDance are challenging a US law that aims to ban the popular short video app in the United States starting from 19 January next year.