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TikTok Under Investigation Over Violation Of Children's Privacy: Report

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TikTok Under Investigation Over Violation Of Children's Privacy: Report

The short-form video application, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, is under investigation by the United States Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission for failing to protect children’s privacy.

What Happened

Federal authorities are investigating whether TikTok violated a 2019 agreement centered around protecting children’s privacy, according to the sources of Reuters.

The Center for Digital Democracy, a consumer and privacy protection organization and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a coalition of parents, professionals and educators, along with others, asked the FTC to probe allegations that TikTok failed to remove videos and personal information of users aged 13 and younger. 

A TikTok spokesperson claimed that they “accommodate users under 13 [years] in a limited app experience that introduces additional safety and privacy protections designed specifically for a younger audience.”

Why It Matters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that he is considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps.

A ban on TikTok may benefit rivals like Snap Inc’s (NYSE: SNAP) Snapchat and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB).

Facebook is already using “Reels,” a new video-editing feature, to plug the gap left in the short form video segment after India banned TikTok.

ByteDance said that TikTok would exit Hong Kong, and it has stopped yielding to user data requests by the territory’s government after China imposed a recently passed National Security Law.

 

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