Sunday, 19 January, 2020


TikTok harvested and sent data to China, lawsuit claims

TikTok accused in California lawsuit of sending user data to China TikTok harvested and sent data to China, lawsuit claims
Bennie Garza | 04 December, 2019, 18:28

TikTok maintains that it "stores all U.S. user data in the United States with backups in Singapore", according to Reuters.

The lawsuit alleges that TikTok and Chinese parent company ByteDance have neglected their duty to handle user data with care and have knowingly violated a slew of USA statutes governing data gathering and the right to privacy, according to The Daily Beast.

"These apps infiltrate users' devices and extract a remarkably broad array of private and personally-identifiable information that Defendants use to track and profile users for the goal of, among other things, targeting them with advertisements from which Defendants unjustly profit", the lawsuit claims.

"At the same time that Defendants utilized the Musical.ly and TikTok apps to covertly tap into a massive array of private and personally-identifiable information, they went to great lengths to hide their tracks", Hong noted, cited by The Daily Beast.

Also last week, a New Jersey teenager was locked out of her TikTok account after she posted a video spreading awareness of Beijing's mass detention of Uighurs in Xinjiang.

In March or April of this year, Palo Alto college student Misty Hong says she downloaded the TikTok app, designed to create and share short videos. Recently, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. The Chinese social networking platform has denied these claims as it faces a national security probe in Washington.

"With over 110 million downloads in the USA alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we can not ignore", wrote Schumer and Cotton, who now sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. United States lawmakers have been concerned about how TikTok stores the personal data of some 26.5 million American users and notes that that the app may also be censoring politically-sensitive content. The firm stated that it is not "subject to Chinese law", and stressed that it has "never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked". Schumer and Cotton anxious that TikTok could be a "potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 2016 election on USA -based social media platforms".

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