HomeWinBuzzer NewsDOJ Decides Against Legal Action Against TikTok Over Data Security Issues

DOJ Decides Against Legal Action Against TikTok Over Data Security Issues

The Department intends to dismiss one portion of an FTC complaint, which accuses TikTok of misleading U.S. consumers


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has chosen not to move forward with allegations that TikTok, owned by ByteDance, misled American users regarding . Instead, it is planning to sue the platform over suspected violations of children's privacy laws, reports TIME.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claimed that did not sufficiently protect , particularly that of minors. This legal scrutiny is part of a broader series of challenges faced by TikTok in the U.S.

Divergence in Regulatory Approaches

The FTC issued a two-part referral to the Justice Department. The Department intends to dismiss one portion of the complaint, which accuses TikTok of misleading U.S. consumers by not disclosing that employees from its Beijing-based parent company, , could access their personal and financial data. However, the DOJ is set to move forward with the part of the complaint that alleges TikTok breached the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting data on children under 13 years of age.

When the Justice Department represents another agency in court, it has the authority to determine the best litigation strategy to ensure there are no conflicts with concerns or other cases.

There is a clear discrepancy between the FTC and the DOJ on the matter. While the FTC has found grounds for accusing TikTok of breaching children's privacy laws, the DOJ has opted not to include the data security misleading claims in its forthcoming lawsuit. This has led to internal debates about the most effective approach to holding TikTok accountable.

TikTok's Position on Privacy and Data Protection

TikTok has been under the microscope for its data handling practices, especially concerning minors. The platform has previously stated its commitment to protecting user data in accordance with the law. With the impending lawsuit, TikTok will now have to confront these serious claims and prove its adherence to child privacy regulations.

By excluding the data security misleading claims, the DOJ is focusing its legal action specifically on child privacy violations. The outcome of this lawsuit could significantly impact TikTok's operations in the U.S.

New York Bans Addictive Social Media Feeds for Minors

This month, the New York Legislature passed a bill to limit social media algorithms for users under 18. This is part of a broader effort at state and federal levels to address the influence of social media on children, highlighting the growing concern over the impact of digital platforms on the mental health of young people.

The new , known as the Stop Addictive Feeds Exploitation (SAFE) for Kids Act, requires platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to provide reverse-chronological feeds to minors instead of algorithm-driven content. These algorithms, considered “addictive feeds”, use personal user data to tailor content, which is deemed harmful to the mental well-being of minors. If platforms fail to comply within 30 days, they could face penalties of up to $5,000 per underage user.

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.