The popular social media app TikTok has been sued by the US state of Indiana. US authorities claim that the app violated the state’s consumer protection laws, according to the BBC.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has accused TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, of violating state laws. Two trials were started on Wednesday. The first complaint alleges that the app exposes young users to inappropriate content. In the other complaint, Rokita alleges that TikTok fails to disclose the potential for the Chinese government to access sensitive consumer information.
“TikTok is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As long as TikTok is allowed to deceive and mislead Indiana consumers about the risks to which their data is exposed, these consumers and their privacy are easy prey,” the court documents cited by the BBC read. .
The US indictment alleges that TikTok promotes inappropriate content
The complaint also states that the app’s algorithm promotes a variety of inappropriate content, “featuring alcohol, tobacco and drugs, sexual content, nudity and suggestive themes, as well as heavy profanity.”
The state of Indiana is seeking an injunction to stop these practices and civil penalties against the company for its “unfair and deceptive conduct.” Rokita said the Indiana lawsuits are the first by a US state against ByteDance.
US user data protection, a hot topic
Last month, the head of the FBI said TikTok was a national security issue. Director Chris Wray told the US House Homeland Security Committee that Chinese law essentially requires companies to “do whatever the government wants in terms of sharing information or serving as a tool of the Chinese government.”
The Biden administration has been in talks with TikTok officials for months in an attempt to reach a national security deal to protect the data of hundreds of millions of US users.