WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TikTok is under investigation for allegedly violating a settlement reached with U.S. authorities last year that resolved charges the popular app broke rules governing how children’s personal information is treated online.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, and the Justice Department, which often files court actions for the FTC, have opened a preliminary investigation into the matter involving the China-based video-sharing app.
Under rules dating to 1998 legislation, COPPA requires websites to get parental permission to collect data on children under the age of 13. Websites or online services are also expected to ban third parties from collecting the data.
COPPA also applies to mobile apps, gaming platforms and internet-connected toys, among others.
Under pressure from the FTC, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, agreed in early 2019 to pay a $5.7 million civil penalty for violating COPPA by