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Video Sharing App TikTok Fined $29 M in The U.K For Breaching Children’s Privacy

TikTok faces a $29 million fine in the U.K after an investigation by the British Government showed that the social media app breached the U.K data protection laws and failed to protect children’s privacy

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Video sharing app TikTok faces a $29 million fine in the U.K after an investigation by the British Government discovered that the social media app breached the U.K data protection laws and failed to protect children’s privacy.

According to the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a notice of intent was issued to TikTok and TikTok Information Technologies UK entity, alleging that the social media app breached British rules between May 2018 and July 2020. A notice of intent precedes a potential fine from the regulator.

ICO also explained that TikTok “may have” processed data of children under the age of 13 without parental consent. Additionally, it stated that the company may have failed to provide proper information to its users in a concise, transparent, and easily understood way and processed special category data, without legal grounds to do so.

Special category data refers to sensitive personal data in areas such as sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnic and racial origin, political opinions, and genetic and biometric data.

The information commissioner John Edwards while addressing TikTok’s breach of Children’s data protection laws said,

“We all want children to be able to learn and experience the digital world, but with proper data privacy protections.

“Companies providing digital services have a legal duty to put those protections in place, but our provisional view is that TikTok fell short of meeting that requirement.

Edwards also indicated the ICO plans to take enforcement action against other companies. 

“We are currently looking into how over 50 different online services are conforming with the Children’s Code and have six ongoing investigations looking into companies providing digital services who haven’t, in our initial view, taken their responsibilities around child safety seriously enough,”

The UK “Children’s Code,” also known as the age-appropriate design code, seeks to create a safer internet for children by enforcing 15 standards that apps and online services need to follow.

It specifically targets Big Tech names including Meta, YouTube, and TikTok, and is applied to any companies, including those outside the UK, that process personal data of British kids.

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Trump Media & Tech Group Plummets, Wiping Out $2.8 Billion in Value

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Trump Media & Technology Group Corp., the social media predominantly owned by former U.S. President Donald Trump, has lost $2.8 billion in market value in the last few days.

The tumultuous downturn comes as a wave of retail traders who once fervently boosted the stock have begun to offload their holdings.

The company, which encompasses the Truth Social platform, has seen its stock plummet by 36% since its closing high on March 26.

This nosedive not only erased the gains achieved in the aftermath of its merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp., but it also pushed the stock below its pre-merger trading levels.

Initially, Trump Media enjoyed a meteoric rise in its early days as a publicly traded entity following the merger with DWAC, the blank-check company facilitating the deal.

However, the allure of the stock among individual investors, who saw it as a means to express support for the former president’s potential 2024 reelection bid, has waned significantly.

As the stock continues its downward spiral, the once-projected paper windfall for Donald Trump himself has also dwindled.

Trump’s anticipated gains from the venture have plummeted by approximately $1.6 billion, leaving him with an estimated $2.9 billion in paper wealth.

However, realization of this wealth remains contingent upon a six-month lock-up agreement, delaying Trump’s ability to sell shares.

The timing of Trump Media’s downfall coincides with a flurry of legal troubles facing the former president. With just a week until the commencement of his first criminal trial in Manhattan, Trump faces charges related to falsifying business records in connection with hush money payments to a pornographic actress prior to the 2016 election.

Also, Trump is slated to undergo deposition in a civil lawsuit filed against him and Trump Media by two co-founders alleging share dilution prior to the merger.

Despite the substantial loss in value, Trump Media retains a market capitalization of approximately $5 billion, underscoring the paradoxical valuation dynamics in the current market environment.

The company’s meager revenue of $4.1 million in the preceding year contrasts sharply with its lofty market capitalization, raising concerns about the sustainability of its valuation.

The dramatic downturn of Trump Media & Technology Group mirrors the volatile trajectory of past meme stocks like GameStop Corp. and underscores the inherent risks associated with companies emerging from SPAC mergers.

As the company grapples with its dwindling valuation and mounting legal challenges, the future of Truth Social and its associated ventures remains uncertain in the ever-shifting landscape of the digital realm.

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TikTok Faces Existential Threat as US House Votes Overwhelmingly to Ban Unless Sold

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The US House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to ban TikTok unless its Chinese owner, ByteDance Ltd., sells the video-sharing app.

The measure, passed by a vote of 352 to 65, marks a significant escalation in the ongoing scrutiny of TikTok, which has come under fire over concerns about national security and data privacy.

The bill, if enacted into law, would require TikTok to divest its US operations within 180 days or face a ban from US app stores, including those run by Apple and Google.

This move represents the most serious challenge yet to TikTok, which boasts a massive user base of 170 million Americans but has been criticized by some lawmakers as a potential national-security threat due to its Chinese ownership.

President Joe Biden has signaled his support for the legislation, stating that he would sign it into law if it passes the Senate.

However, the bill’s fate in the Senate remains uncertain, with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer yet to endorse it and some members, including Republican Rand Paul, expressing opposition.

TikTok has vehemently opposed the proposed ban, arguing that it would violate the First Amendment and have a detrimental impact on the economy, small businesses, and the millions of Americans who use the platform.

The company has also faced accusations of being a tool for Chinese propaganda, although it has consistently denied sharing user data with the Chinese government.

The House passage of the bill comes just days after its introduction, reflecting growing bipartisan concern over TikTok’s influence and potential risks to national security.

The swift action underscores the urgency with which lawmakers are seeking to address these concerns and highlights the mounting pressure on TikTok to address them or face significant consequences.

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Reddit Eyes $748 Million in Landmark Initial Public Offering

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Reddit

Reddit Inc. is setting its sights on a colossal initial public offering (IPO) aiming to raise $748 million.

This ambitious move represents one of the most significant IPOs of the year as Reddit looks to capitalize on its vast user base and unique market position.

The social media giant, beloved for its diverse forums and vibrant community discussions, plans to offer 22 million shares at a price range of $31 to $34 each, according to sources familiar with the matter.

If successful, this would catapult Reddit’s valuation to as high as $6.5 billion, solidifying its status as a major player in the digital landscape.

What sets Reddit’s IPO apart is its innovative approach to shareholder inclusion. The company intends to reserve approximately 1.76 million shares exclusively for its dedicated users and moderators who created accounts before January 1st.

This groundbreaking move not only fosters a sense of community ownership but also underscores Reddit’s commitment to its grassroots origins.

Despite its meteoric rise, Reddit has faced its fair share of challenges.

From navigating volatile market conditions to addressing user concerns over content moderation and profitability, the company has weathered storms while staying true to its core values.

With heavyweight investment banks like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America spearheading the IPO, anticipation surrounding Reddit’s market debut is palpable.

As the company prepares to trade under the symbol RDDT on the New York Stock Exchange, all eyes are on Reddit, poised to witness history in the making.

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