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The FTC & TikTok: How the Social Media Giant is Changing its Data Collection Practices


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into TikTok for possible breaches of children's privacy regulations. The FTC is looking into whether TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese business ByteDance, has been collecting data on users under the age of 13 without their parents' permission.


TikTok is a social networking website where users may upload and share short films. It has grown in popularity among young people, with some estimates claiming that more than 60% of its users are under the age of 30. However, the site has come under fire for how it handles children's data, with some critics claiming that it is not doing enough to protect the privacy of its young users.



The Children's Internet Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a federal law that requires online services to acquire parental permission before collecting personal information from children under the age of thirteen. The FTC has the jurisdiction to enforce COPPA and can levy fines of up to $42,530 per infringement on corporations that breach the legislation.


The FTC's inquiry into TikTok began in 2019 and has since been ongoing. The FTC and TikTok struck an agreement in February 2021 in which TikTok agreed to pay a $5.7 million fine and develop a robust data protection policy. TikTok also agreed to furnish the FTC with regular reports on its data collection and usage methods as part of the settlement.


The FTC and TikTok also agreed on a data privacy program that includes several measures to protect the privacy of its young users, such as requiring parental consent for accounts of children under the age of 13, limiting data collection for these accounts, and providing more information about the data that is collected.


Furthermore, TikTok has committed to developing a robust data security procedure to safeguard its users' personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.


The FTC's TikTok inquiry serves as a reminder of the significance of protecting children's online privacy. It also emphasizes the difficulties that social media firms confront in complying with COPPA and other data privacy regulations. As TikTok grows in popularity, it is critical that the firm prioritizes the privacy and security of its customers, particularly its young users.

 

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