TikTok has been sued by the U.S. state of Indiana alleging it lied to its users that China had access to their data.
The short-video app, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide, also exposed children to inappropriate content related to sex and drugs, the lawsuit filed by Attorney General Todd Tokita’s office said.
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.
Mr. Tokita, a Republican, described Tik Tok As a “malicious and threatening threat to unsuspecting Indiana consumers by a Chinese company, the Chinese company is well aware of the harm it causes its users”.
A spokesman for the social media platform did not comment on the lawsuits, but the company has been on the defensive this week as longstanding concerns have surfaced in several U.S. states.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered all state agencies to ban the use of TikTok on government-issued devices, claiming the Chinese government poses a “serious threat” through the app.
“TikTok collects vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where and how they engage in internet activity — and provides this potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” he said.
His counterparts in Maryland, South Dakota and South Carolina have all taken the same action.
TikTok vows to ‘fulfill’ US concerns
A TikTok spokesperson said the bans were “driven in large part by misinformation about our company.”
They said that the company attaches great importance to user safety, and the account opening age requirement is 13 years old, which has recently been raised to 18 years old For those who wish to stream live.
“We’re building youth wellbeing into our policies, age-restricting features, providing parents with tools and resources, and continuing to invest in new ways to enjoy content based on age-appropriateness or family comfort,” they said.
“We also believe that we are negotiating with the U.S. government to fully address all legitimate U.S. national security concerns, and we have made significant progress toward implementing these solutions.”
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Will TikTok be banned?
TikTok has been repeatedly targeted by US politicians since the former president donald trump try to enforce Completely prohibit downloading the app.
although joe biden After reversing his predecessor’s order, he ordered the government to review foreign-owned apps, a review that is still ongoing more than a year later.
Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said TikTok’s U.S. operations raised national security concerns.
He warned that the Chinese government could use the app to influence users or take control of their devices.
According to CNBC reports, analysts believe that TikTok is likely to be banned in the United States next year.
Cowen policy analyst Paul Gallant said: “We still believe TikTok will survive in the US.
“But we think it’s a very close decision now and we maintain our 40 per cent chance of a ban in 2023.”
What about in the UK?
While there has been relatively little talk of banning TikTok in the UK, the app is coming under increasing scrutiny as it gains popularity.
In a letter revealed to a parliamentary committee on Wednesday morning, the company’s head of government relations insisted that the Chinese government never asked TikTok for UK user data.
Liz Kanter said TikTok is “committed to being transparent about where countries around the world are making data requests”.
Ms Kantor wrote to Alicia Kearns, the Conservative MP who chairs the foreign affairs committee, saying TikTok was “separated” from its China-incorporated ByteDance subsidiary and that its staff had “no access” to user data.
“We have not been asked by the Chinese government or the CCP to provide TikTok UK user data, we have not provided such data to the Chinese government or the CCP, and we would not have done so if asked,” she said.
in august, Parliament closes its official accounts Because of fears that the data would be passed on to the Chinese government.
The following month, the Information Commissioner’s Office warned TikTok that it could face a £27m fine for breaching data protection laws Due to failure to protect children’s privacy.
Earlier this week ministers were warned of human traffickers TikTok is being used to promote dangerous Channel crossingsas the government tries to crack down on the practice.