FTC Tells DOJ: China’s TikTok Is Violating U.S. Law on Child Privacy

tiktok logo statue
Anthony Quintano/Flickr

The FTC informed the DOJ on Tuesday that China’s TikTok may be in violation of U.S. law on child privacy.

The FTC said in a statement that it has investigated TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance, and “uncovered reason to believe” the companies are “violating or are about to violate” the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, according to a report by ABC News.

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is a federal law that requires apps and websites hosting kids under the age of 13 to get parental consent before the platforms can collect personal information of the children.

The FTC has therefore referred a complaint against TikTok and ByteDance to the Justice Department, leaving it up to DOJ if it wants to file a lawsuit against the Chinese companies. The agency also reportedly cited TikTok and ByteDance’s potential violations of the FTC Act, which outlines its responsibility to enforce the law.

The FTC added that while it does not typically publicize its complaints referred to the DOJ, it is doing so in this case give that the matter is “in the public interest.” “Consistent with our normal approach, the Justice Department consulted with FTC in advance of this referral and will continue to do so as we consider the claims,” a DOJ spokesperson told ABC News. “As always, the Department will be guided by the facts and the law as well as our responsibility to protect the American people.”

This case is separate from the recently passed sell-or-ban legislation that calls on ByteDance, which is beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, to sell TikTok by January or else face a ban in the United States.

As Breitbart News reported, the move to ban TikTok unless ByteDance sells the app comes after years of concern over Chinese communists running a popular social media platform that has proven itself to be a danger for kids and teens, and whose parent company has already been caught snooping on journalists.

TikTok is also facing multiple lawsuits brought by several mourning families who say the Chinese social media platform is directly responsible for the deaths of their children.

Moreover, TikTok is widely considered a national security threat by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, with lawmakers already having banned the Chinese app from U.S. government devices.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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