Dhe video app Tiktok is again threatened with legal trouble in the USA. The Attorney General of the State of Indiana, Todd Rokita, announced two lawsuits against the Internet platform belonging to the Chinese Bytedance group. He accuses Tiktok of misleading information on data security and a lack of protection for young users. The platform is a “Trojan horse” of China. A statement from Tiktok or Bytedance was initially not available.
Indiana prosecutor Rokita criticizes that the online network specifically exposes children to offensive content such as drug and alcohol abuse or sexual promiscuity and obscenity. Tiktok uses algorithms designed to make young people dependent on the app and encourage posts that are inappropriate for the age group. The company is thus violating consumer protection law. Rokita is suing for injunctive relief, payment of damages and fines.
The procedure regarding data security is mainly about Tiktok’s connections to China and the influence of the government there on the app. Tiktok is in possession of highly sensitive personal information of US users and falsely claims to them that this information is adequately protected from the Communist Party. China’s government has already shown interest in accessing Tiktok’s data collection, the lawsuit says. You can use it to spy on or even blackmail users in the United States.
The allegations are not new, and the company has always denied them. Tiktok is the only non-US online platform with a global reach. In 2020, then-US President Donald Trump threatened a ban, citing risks to national security, and tried to force a sale of Tiktok’s international business. China torpedoed this with a sales freeze for software algorithms. Trump’s successor, Joe Biden, stopped the attempted ban – primarily for legal reasons. But safety concerns persist.