Biden bans government employees from TikTok, and Bytedance admits inappropriate user data access

The Biden administration passed a ban on TikTok in its spending bill this week. This is due to ongoing concern about TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, over security practices. At the same time, ByteDance management has conceded several of their employees had gained inappropriate access to user data as reported this fall by Forbes, which claimed the company’s Internal Audit team planned to use data to surveil some individual American citizens.

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IT’S THE LAW (01/03/2023)

January 3, 2023

On January 1, California added niche privacy protections for groups identified as needing special protections. These include: 1) The Student Test Taker Privacy Act which prohibits collecting and using student information unless it can be proven strictly necessary; 2) Assembly Bill 2089 which specifies information collected by mental health apps must be used only if necessary for health care; and 3) Senate Bill 1228 to protect sexual assault victims from having their DNA information available, except when there is an active police investigation.

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Children’s Privacy: Class action charging Google, Hasbro, YouTube with ad targeting minors revived by 9th Circuit court

January 3, 2023

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals revived a children’s privacy lawsuit which alleged Google, Hasbro, Mattel, Dreamworks and others had violated state laws that are similar to the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by tracking the YouTube activity of children under age 13 without parental consent for the purpose of ad tracking.

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