The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice are investigating allegations that the popular TikTok app did not live up to a 2019 agreement to protect children's privacy, said two people interviewed by the agencies.
A Massachusetts technology policy group member and another source said they had attended separate conference calls with FTC and Department of Justice officials to discuss allegations that the China-based app for short video sharing of an agreement announced in February 2019 was not was just.
The Center for Digital Democracy, the campaign for an ad-free childhood and others in May asked the FTC about their allegations. Among other things, TikTok was unable to delete videos and personal information about users up to 13 years old, as it had agreed to.
Reuters could not determine whether either agency would take action against TikTok.
A TikTok spokesman said that they "take security seriously for all of our users," adding that in the United States, they "accommodate users under the age of 13 in a limited app experience that provides additional security and privacy specifically for." a younger audience was developed. "
Officials from both the FTC, who had made the initial informed consent with TikTok, and the Department of Justice, which frequently submits court documents for the FTC, videotaped groups to discuss the matter, said David Monahan, a campaign manager at the Campaign for an ad-free childhood.
"I felt through our conversation that they were investigating the allegations we made in our complaint," said Monahan.
A second person who spoke privately confirmed that lawyers had met with officials from the two agencies to discuss concerns that TikTok had violated the consent decree.
The FTC declined to comment. The Department of Justice had no immediate comment.
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