FTC Investigating TikTok Over Data Practices, Could Face a Lawsuit

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is currently conducting an investigation into the data practices of TikTok.

The Federal Trade Commission is currently examining the platform for possible breaches of a law concerning the privacy of children. This inquiry could potentially result in a legal action being taken against the platform.

The current conflict in Washington involves the social media corporation as they face yet another investigation. They are also currently engaged in a legal fight against a proposed federal bill that could potentially result in the platform being banned within the United States. The reason behind this is the company’s connection with its parent company, ByteDance, which is based in Beijing.

It has been reported that the FTC has been conducting an inquiry to determine if TikTok has breached a section of federal law that forbids “unfair and deceptive” business tactics by denying that China had access of U.S. user data.

The agency is currently examining the company for potential breaches of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which mandates that apps and websites geared towards children must obtain parental consent before gathering any personal information from children under the age of 13.

Allegedly the investigation conducted by the agency is almost finished and a settlement with TikTok may be reached within the next few weeks.

In the event that the FTC chooses to pursue legal action, it will need to transfer the case to the Justice Department. The Justice Department will then have a 45-day window to determine if it will take on the case on behalf of the FTC, make modifications, or return it to the agency for independent pursuit.

This investigation comes comes two years after the Senate Intelligence Committee initiated concern that ByteDance employees in China allegedly accessed data on U.S. TikTok users.

The fate of TikTok in the United States still remains unknown. The bill passed in the House this month, however, it is facing obstacles in the Senate due to a lack of consensus on the most effective way to address concerns surrounding the popular social media platform.

There seems to be a deep concern with legislators and members of the intelligence community that the Chinese government is exploiting the platform to obtain personal information from American users.