DOUBLE-Whammy: CCP Spies Hit AGAIN!

TikTok has attracted the attention of the FTC because of allegedly lax security and data practices. Such probes are typically opening moves in campaigns that ends with the company under investigation facing lawsuits or enforcement actions, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

This action is the latest skirmish in what is becoming a protracted battle between the Washington establishment and the social media upstart. TikTok is already facing a legislative push that could prohibit the platform from operating in the US unless and until its parent company, the Beijing-based Bytedance, doesn’t cut it loose.

The current investigation has the FTC examining if TikTok has violated a provision in federal law prohibiting “unfair and deceptive” practices. At issue is whether TikTok has fraudulently denied that Chinese actors have access to US user data.

The FTC is also looking into possible violations of the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), which requires parental consent before an app aimed at kids collects personal information on minors, so long as those minors are under the age of 13.

Politico reports that Nicole Drayton, a spokesperson for the FTC, declined comment on the matter, as did representatives of TikTok.

The investigation is nearing its end, and could bring enforcement in the form of a settlement agreement in coming weeks, though no deadline for such a settlement currently exists.

If the FTC opts to move forward with a lawsuit instead of a regulatory enforcement action, the matter will be transferred to the Justice Department. Justice will then have 45 days to decide whether or not to file a case on behalf of the FTC, or to make changes, or to kick it back down for the FTC to pursue on its own.

It has been two years since Mark Warner, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with Republican Senator and ranking Committee Member Mark Rubio first asked the FTC to look into TikTok.