Federal lawsuit targets TikTok for children's privacy concerns

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly planning to focus an upcoming lawsuit against TikTok on allegations that the company violated the privacy rights of children, according to a new report. The lawsuit will specifically target children's privacy rights, rather than claims that the social media platform misled adult users about data privacy practices.

This news follows an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which looked into potential violations by TikTok and its China-based parent company ByteDance. The FTC referred the case to the DOJ after finding reason to believe that the defendants were violating or about to violate the law.

TikTok has been working with the FTC for over a year to address concerns about its privacy practices. The company expressed disappointment that the agency is pursuing litigation instead of continuing to work towards a solution. TikTok stated that they strongly disagree with the allegations made by the FTC and have implemented safety features to protect children using the platform.

In addition to the FTC investigation, TikTok is facing pressure from Congress to divest from ByteDance due to concerns about data privacy and Chinese government access. A bipartisan law was enacted earlier this year, giving TikTok until January 2025 to sell to a non-adversarial foreign owner or face a ban in the U.S.

Despite these challenges, investors are showing interest in acquiring TikTok to prevent a potential ban. Billionaire real estate developer Frank McCourt, former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Kevin O'Leary of "Shark Tank" fame have all expressed interest in forming investment groups to acquire TikTok.

The uncertainty surrounding TikTok's future has led to a complex legal and regulatory battle, with the company denying allegations of privacy violations and filing a lawsuit to block the divestment law. The situation remains fluid as the DOJ prepares to move forward with its lawsuit against TikTok.


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