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HomeTechnologyInternetUS Justice Department Shifts Focus In TikTok Lawsuit To Children's Privacy

US Justice Department Shifts Focus In TikTok Lawsuit To Children’s Privacy

The Justice Department plans to drop the first part of the complaint but will proceed with the allegations related to children's privacy.

The US Justice Department is making a significant shift in its legal approach against ByteDance’s TikTok.

Instead of pursuing claims that the video-sharing platform misled consumers about their data security, the department will now focus on a consumer protection lawsuit centred around children’s privacy.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initially referred a two-part complaint to the Justice Department. One part alleged that TikTok deceived US consumers by not disclosing that Beijing-based employees of ByteDance could access their personal and financial information.

The other part focused on violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which prohibits the collection of data from children under the age of 13.

The Justice Department plans to drop the first part of the complaint but will proceed with the allegations related to children’s privacy. This decision follows scrutiny over TikTok’s data security practices and its ties to the Chinese government.

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President Joe Biden recently signed a law that would ban TikTok unless it is sold within a year, a move that TikTok is currently challenging in court. The Justice Department’s decision to focus on children’s privacy aligns with its broader mandate to protect American consumers, particularly vulnerable groups like children.

FTC investigations have played a significant role in this case. In 2019, TikTok paid $5.7 million to settle allegations that it had illegally collected personal information from children. As part of the settlement, TikTok agreed to provide annual reports on its data collection practices and compliance, which have contributed to the current case.

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The Justice Department’s decision to concentrate on children’s privacy in its lawsuit against TikTok underscores the importance of protecting young users online. As the case progresses, it will be crucial to monitor how these legal actions impact TikTok and its operations in the United States.

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Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
SurgeZirc SA is proud to have Thato Motaung as a valuable member of our team. With his expertise in both technology and sports, Thato brings a unique perspective to our publication. Thato is a talented writer with a passion for all things tech and sports.
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