Indiana Sues TikTok over Child Safety, Security Concerns

Shou Zi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc., during an interview at the TikTok of
Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty

Indiana’s attorney general is suing China-owned TikTok, alleging the app misleads its users — children in particular — about the level of inappropriate content and the security of consumer information.

Indiana AG Todd Rokita (R) claimed in a suit filed Wednesday that TikTok contains “salacious and inappropriate content” that young users may obtain “for unlimited periods of time, day and night, in an effort to line TikTok’s pockets with billions of dollars from U.S. consumers,” according to a report by the Associated Press.

UNITED STATES - APRIL 4: Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in Indiana, addresses the Steuben County Lincoln Day Dinner in Angola, Ind., on April 4, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images)

Three girls watching TikTok videos

Three girls watching TikTok videos (Luiza Nalimova/Getty)

“At the very least, the company owes consumers the truth about the age-appropriateness of its content and the insecurity of the data it collects on users,” Rokita said in a press release on Wednesday.

The Attorney General added that the Chinese app has users’ sensitive and personal information, but deceives users into believing that their information is secure.

Rokita is not alone in his concerns over TikTok, as many consider the app to be nothing more than Chinese surveillance thinly veiled as a social media platform — which U.S. kids and teens are addicted to.

In addition to that, TikTok — which is owned by a hostile foreign country — is also considered a national security threat by U.S. government officials, and has already been known to meddle in U.S. elections.

Moreover, under Chinese law, the app’s parent company, ByteDance, can force TikTok to hand over the data it has collected on U.S. citizens and give it to the Chinese Communist Party.

ByteDance has already been caught planning to use TikTok to monitor the physical location of specific American citizens. Last month, TikTok admitted that its employees in China can access the private data of accounts based in other countries.

This week, negotiations between the U.S. government and China-owned TikTok have reportedly been delayed due to national security concerns involving ByteDance and its access to the private user data of Americans.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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