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Federal Trade Commission refers complaint about TikTok's adherence to child privacy law to the DOJ

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Federal Trade Commission refers complaint about TikTok's adherence to child privacy law to the DOJ
News

News

Federal Trade Commission refers complaint about TikTok's adherence to child privacy law to the DOJ

2024-06-19 06:56 Last Updated At:07:01

The Federal Trade Commission has referred a complaint against TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, to the Department of Justice.

The FTC said in a statement Tuesday that it investigated the two companies and “uncovered reason to believe” they are “violating or are about to violate” the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, a federal law which requires kid-oriented apps and websites to get parental consent before collecting personal information of children under 13.

The agency also cited potential violations of the FTC Act, the law that outlines its enforcement responsibilities.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the substance of the referral from the FTC against TikTok. “Consistent with our normal approach, the Justice Department consulted with FTC in advance of this referral and will continue to do so as we consider the claims. As always, the Department will be guided by the facts and the law as well as our responsibility to protect the American people,” the spokesperson said.

A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press in March that the agency was looking into whether TikTok violated a prohibition against “unfair and deceptive” business practices by denying that individuals in China had access to U.S. user data.

TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek said the company has been working with the FTC for more than a year to address its concerns and was “disappointed the agency is pursuing litigation instead of continuing to work with us on a reasonable solution."

“We strongly disagree with the FTC’s allegations, many of which relate to past events and practices that are factually inaccurate or have been addressed,” Haurek said in a statement.

The FTC said its investigation began in connection with a compliance review of a 2019 settlement between the agency and Musical.y, the TikTok predecessor that was acquired by ByteDance in 2017. Under the settlement, Musical.y agreed to pay $5.7 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the children’s privacy law.

The agency said that while it does not typically publicize complaints that are referred to the DOJ, it determined doing so this time was "in the public interest.”

Citing national security concerns, U.S. lawmakers passed a law in April that requires TikTok to be sold to an approved buyer or face a nationwide ban. TikTok and Beijing-based ByteDance have sued to overturn the law, which President Joe Biden signed.

FILE - The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa. The Federal Trade Commission has referred a complaint against TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, to the Department of Justice. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

FILE - The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa. The Federal Trade Commission has referred a complaint against TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, to the Department of Justice. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An iconoclastic filmmaking legend and one of the world's most enduring musical acts headline this year's crop of Kennedy Center Honors recipients.

Director Francis Ford Coppola and the Grateful Dead will be honored for lifetime achievement in the arts, along with jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, blues legend Bonnie Raitt and the legendary Harlem theater The Apollo, which has launched generations of Black artists.

This 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The ceremony will be broadcast on CBS on Dec. 23.

Starting out as a folk-infused quintet in psychedelic-era 1960s San Francisco, the Grateful Dead steadily morphed into a cultural phenomenon and one of the most successful touring acts of all time.

Fueled by the carnival atmosphere of its traveling Deadhead fanbase and an ethos that encouraged tape-trading and emphasized live performance over studio output, the Dead have spanned multiple generations and remain wildly popular. Lead guitarist and founding member Jerry Garcia died in 1995, but the band continues almost nonstop touring in multiple incarnations.

“There’s a lot of ingredients that go into it,” drummer Mickey Hart said, when asked about the music’s longevity. “The fans say that the shows feel like home. It gives them that feeling of connectiveness and community and joy and love for life and the music.”

Currently calling themselves Dead and Company with guitarist John Mayer taking Garcia’s place, the band is in the midst of a several-month residency at The Sphere in Las Vegas.

Coppola, 85, has established himself as a trailblazing filmmaker, winning five Academy Awards and earning a reputation as a driven artist willing to risk his reputation and finances for his vision. Even after the massive successes of “The Godfather” and a sequel, Coppola drove himself into near bankruptcy while filming “Apocalypse Now,” which turned out to be another classic.

At times, he wondered whether he had ruffled too many powerful feathers along the way to ever receive Kennedy Center Honors induction.

“I’ve been eligible for the past 20 years, so the fact that I never received it made me feel that maybe I never would,” said Coppola, who took part in fellow director Martin Scorsese's induction in 2007. “I just assumed I wasn’t going to win it, so to hear that I was chosen was a surprise and a delight.”

Coppola, who has produced wine from his northern California vineyard for more than 40 years, also made sure to shout out another northern California recipient this year.

“And it's a big treat to be there this year with the Grateful Dead, my San Francisco colleagues," he said. “I'm very delighted and pleased.”

Sandoval, 74, rose to prominence as a musician in his native Cuba, playing piano and percussion but specializing in the trumpet. His work brought him into contact with jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, who championed his music and personally helped him defect from Cuba while on tour in Europe in 1990. Shortly after his defection, Sandoval performed at his mentor Gillespie's own Kennedy Center Honors induction.

“Modestly apart, I do think I deserve it. I worked so hard for so many years,” Sandoval told The Associated Press. “It’s a huge honor, and I feel completely overwhelmed. I have to pinch myself sometimes. I’m just a little farmer from Cuba. God has been so good to me.”

Raitt's memories of the Kennedy Center Honors go back to the 1970s, when she accompanied her father, Broadway performer John Raitt, who was taking part in a tribute to composer Richard Rogers.

“I got to visit the White House and hang out with the Carters,” said Raitt, 74. “I got my first taste of what this weekend really means.”

As an adult performer, Raitt experienced the other side of the Kennedy Center Honors equation: performing as part of tributes to Mavis Staples in 2016 and Buddy Guy in 2012. These performances are frequently kept secret from the honorees themselves, and Raitt said she looks forward to seeing who the planners come up with for her tribute.

“I really, really want to be surprised, and I don't want to know,” she said.

Over a 50-year career, Raitt has received a plethora of music awards, including 13 Grammys and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone magazine named her to its lists of the 100 greatest guitarists and the 100 greatest singers of all time. But Raitt said the Kennedy Center Honors status holds a special place because it extends to all aspects of the performing arts, encompassing all forms of music, dance and performance.

“The thing that puts (Kennedy Center Honors) at the pinnacle is that it’s culture-wide,” she said. “It’s hard for me to even fathom what this means.”

It's extremely rare for the Kennedy Center Honors to select a venue, rather than a performer. But The Apollo's nine-decade run as an incubator for generations of Black talent has qualified it as an exception.

“It's not a traditional honoree, for sure,” said Michelle Ebanks, the theater's president and CEO, who cited the recent induction of the show “Sesame Street” as a similar out-of-the-box selection. "We're absolutely delighted by the honor."

The Harlem landmark has served as a proving ground for Black performers dating back to Billie Holiday, James Brown and Stevie Wonder and extending into modern performers like Lauryn Hill. This year, the theater has moved events to a new venue down the street, dubbed The Apollo Stages at the Victoria Theater, while the original venue undergoes renovation and expansion.

“It's more than a theater. It's a cultural touchstone ... that's rooted in the Harlem community,” Ebanks said. "It really is a recognition of a collective passion. ... Over the decades, The Apollo has never stood still.”

FILE - The marquee of the Apollo Theater honors, Aug. 6, 2019 in New York. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - The marquee of the Apollo Theater honors, Aug. 6, 2019 in New York. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

FILE - From left to right, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, daughter of the late Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia, and Bill Kreutzmann pose at the premiere of "Long Strange Trip," a documentary about the Grateful Dead rock group, during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 23, 2017, in Park City, Utah. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - From left to right, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, daughter of the late Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia, and Bill Kreutzmann pose at the premiere of "Long Strange Trip," a documentary about the Grateful Dead rock group, during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Jan. 23, 2017, in Park City, Utah. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Cuban jazz player Arturo Sandoval plays during a concert in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 27, 2017. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Cuban jazz player Arturo Sandoval plays during a concert in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 27, 2017. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

FILE - Bonnie Raitt arrives at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, March 2, 2022, at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Bonnie Raitt arrives at the Billboard Women in Music Awards, March 2, 2022, at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Director Francis Ford Coppola poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Megalopolis' at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 17, 2024. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - Director Francis Ford Coppola poses for photographers at the photo call for the film 'Megalopolis' at the 77th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, May 17, 2024. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP, File)

FILE - This undated file photo shows members of the Grateful Dead band, from left to right, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Brent Mydland, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/File)

FILE - This undated file photo shows members of the Grateful Dead band, from left to right, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Brent Mydland, Bill Kreutzmann, and Bob Weir. The 47th Kennedy Center class will be honored with an evening of tributes, testimonials and performances on Dec. 8 at Washington's John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. (AP Photo/File)

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