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US FTC might launch action or seek deal with TikTok over privacy issue, says source

A view shows the office of TikTok after the U.S. House of Representatives decisively approved a measure that would give TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance approximately six months to sell the U.S. assets of the short-video app or risk a ban, in Culver City, California, March 13, 2024.

March 26 (mod1s) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission might finish its probe into Chinese-owned short video app TikTok over allegedly inadequate privacy and data security policies by either filing suit or striking a settlement in the coming weeks, a source told Reuters.

Politico first reported the impending FTC action on Tuesday citing persons with intimate knowledge of the subject. The FTC and TikTok refused to comment. The Justice Department did not immediately react.

Reuters in 2020 reported the FTC and the U.S. Justice Department were investigating into charges the popular social networking app failed to live true to a 2019 deal intended at safeguarding children's privacy.

The examination is distinct from current worries in Congress about the likelihood that the data of TikTok's 170 million U.S. users may be inappropriately accessed by the Chinese government. TikTok disputes the accusation and says it has extensive data security procedures.

Earlier in March, the U.S. House of Representatives decisively voted to adopt a measure giving ByteDance, the Chinese firm that controls TikTok, roughly six months to sell the U.S. assets of the app or risk a ban, citing national security concerns.

Senators are still uncertain on how to continue.

The White House had suggested the Senate should take "swift action," and President Joe Biden stated he would sign the law.

In 2021, ByteDance agreed to a $92 million class-action settlement to address data privacy allegations from certain U.S. TikTok users.


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