TikTok sued by Indiana over security and safety concerns

Image credit: BBC

The US state of Indiana has filed a lawsuit against the well-known social media app TikTok.

The parent firm of TikTok, ByteDance, has been charged by the state’s attorney general, Todd Rokita, with breaking consumer protection rules.

On Wednesday, two lawsuits were submitted. According to the first, the app exposes young users to objectionable content.

In the other case, Mr. Rokita similarly asserts that TikTok fails to disclose the possibility of the Chinese government accessing private user information.

According to court documents, “TikTok is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Consumers in Indiana and their privacy are easy targets as long as TikTok is allowed to deceive and mislead them about the risks to their data.

In the complaint, it is claimed that the app’s algorithm encourages a wide range of inappropriate content, including “depictions of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; sexual content, nudity, and suggestive themes; and intense profanity.”

It further asserts that users with age ratings of 12 and up on the Apple and Google app stores are misled.

Due to the company’s “unfair and deceptive conduct,” Indiana is requesting an injunction against its methods and civil penalties against it.

The lawsuits against ByteDance, according to Mr. Rokita, are the first ones brought by a US state.

Following the drafting of legislation to outlaw TikTok by other US states, the lawsuit announcements were made. The usage of TikTok on equipment used by the state governments of Texas, South Dakota, and South Carolina is forbidden.

Chinese law, according to its director, Chris Wray, essentially compels businesses to “perform whatever the government wants them to in terms of providing information or operating as a tool of the Chinese government.”

In an effort to secure a national security agreement to safeguard the data of TikTok’s hundreds of millions of US users, the Biden administration has been in discussions with company representatives for months.

TikTok is also up against legal issues elsewhere. For failing to safeguard children’s privacy while they use the platform, the social media company in the UK could be hit with a £27 million ($29 million) fine.