US FTC refers complaint against TikTok to Justice Department

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(Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday it had referred a complaint to the Justice Department against the social media platform TikTok and its parent company ByteDance over potential violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Act.

In March, a source told Reuters the FTC could resolve a probe into TikTok over allegedly faulty privacy and data security practices by either filing suit or reaching a settlement.

“The investigation uncovered reason to believe named

defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and that a proceeding is in the public interest, so the Commission has voted to refer a complaint to the Department of Justice,” the FTC said in a statement.

“Although the Commission does not typically make public

the fact that it has referred a complaint, we have determined that doing so here is in the public interest,” the statement continued, without giving details.

The probe is separate from ongoing concerns in Congress about the potential that the data of TikTok’s 170 million U.S. users could be improperly accessed by the Chinese government. TikTok denies the allegation.

(Reporting by Tyler Clifford and David Ljunggren; editing by Rami Ayyub)

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