In June, FTC referred a complaint to DOJ with allegations that TikTok violated COPPA

Letter Text (PDF)

Washington (July 2, 2024) - Senator Edward J Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and Representatives Tim Walberg (MI-05) and Kathy Castor (FL-14) today sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act expeditiously on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) referral of a complaint against TikTok for potential violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the FTC's 2019 settlement with TikTok for violations of COPPA.

In their letter, the lawmakers wrote: "Five years later, according to the FTC, TikTok is still failing to comply with COPPA. On June 18, the Commission released a statement indicating it had referred a complaint against TikTok to DOJ based on its review of the company's compliance with the 2019 settlement. According to the FTC, '[t]he investigation uncovered reasont o believe named defendants are violationg or are about to violate the law and that a proceeding is in the public interest.' DOJ is now charged with reviewing that referral and determining whether to file a complaint on behalf of the Commission. Given TikTok's previous violations of COPPA and the critical need to protect children's online privacy, we urge the Department to expeditiously investigate these allegations and take all necessary action to protect children's online privacy."

In May 2023, Senators Markey and Cassidy reintroduced the Children and Teens' Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA 2.0), legislation that woudl update online data privacy rules for the 21st century to ensure children and teenagers are protected online. In July 2023, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee unanimously passed COPPA 2.0. In April 2024, Representatives Walberg and Castor introduced the House companion to COPPA 2.0.