The popular social media app TikTok has been sued by the state of Indiana in the United States. Its attorney general, Todd Rokita, has accused TikTok’s parent firm, ByteDance, of breaking consumer protection rules in the state.
The state claims that the software fails to protect young people and their privacy.
TikTok, on the other hand, stated that it prioritizes youth well-being in its policies and is convinced that it can meet US national security concerns.
On Wednesday, Indiana filed two lawsuits. According to the first, the app exposes young users to improper information.
Mr. Rokita also claims in the second case that TikTok fails to disclose the Chinese government’s ability to obtain critical customer information.
“TikTok is a wolf in sheep’s clothes,” court filings state.
“As long as TikTok is allowed to mislead and confuse Indiana customers about the threats to their data, those consumers and their privacy will be easy victims.”
According to the lawsuit, the app’s algorithm promotes a wide range of improper content, including “images of alcohol, cigarettes, and narcotics; sexual content, nudity, and suggestive themes; and strong profanity.”
It also promises to fool young users with ratings of 12 and up in the Apple and Google app stores.
Indiana is seeking an injunction against the company’s activities as well as financial damages for its “unfair and misleading conduct.”
According to Mr. Rokita, the cases are the first filed by a US state against ByteDance.
“The safety, privacy, and security of our community is our top priority,” according to a TikTok spokeswoman.
According to the corporation, the app incorporates age-limiting and parental control capabilities, and the company is investing in further content restrictions.
In addition, they claimed TikTok was convinced it could handle “any realistic US national security concerns”.
The cases were announced after other US states developed legislation to prohibit TikTok. TikTok usage on state government equipment is restricted in Texas, South Dakota, and South Carolina.
Last month, the FBI’s director stated that TikTok is a national security risk.
According to its director, Chris Wray, Chinese legislation effectively forces firms to “perform whatever the government wants them to in terms of exchanging information or working as an instrument of the Chinese government.”
For months, the Biden administration has been in discussions with TikTok officials in an effort to secure a national security pact to protect the data of its hundreds of millions of US users.
TikTok is also encountering legal issues in other countries. In the United Kingdom, the social media corporation may face a £27 million ($29 million) punishment for failing to protect children’s privacy when they use the site.