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USA: Indiana Petitions TikTok Over Security And Safety Concerns

TikTok, one of the most popular social media app has been sued by the US state of Indiana. ByteDance a parent Company to TikTok  has been accused of violating the state’s consumer protections laws by Its attorney general Todd Rokita .

There were two major reasons for which the Lawsiut was filed on Wednesday. The first one claims the tiktok app exposes young users to inappropriate content and TikTok does not disclose the Chinese government’s potential to access sensitive consumer information.

According to court documents. “TikTok is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “As long as TikTok is permitted to deceive and mislead Indiana consumers are about the risks to their data, those consumers and their privacy are easy prey.”

The complaint says the app’s algorithm promotes a variety of inappropriate content, “depicting alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; sexual content, nudity, and suggestive themes; and intense profanity.” It also claims that tiktok deceives young users with age ratings of 12 and above on Apple and Google app stores.

Mr Rokita said the lawsuits are the first launched by a US state against ByteDance. The state is seeking an injunction against its practices and civil penalties against the company for its “unfair and deceptive conduct.”

ByteDance and TikTok are yet to respond or drop a comment.

Before this latest development, other US states have drafted legislation to ban TikTok. Texas, South Dakota and South Carolina have prohibited the use of TikTok being used on state government devices.

Last month, the head of the FBI has said that TikTok poses a national security concern.

Its director Chris Wray told a the US House Homeland Security Committee said Chinese law essentially requires companies to “do whatever the government wants them to in terms of sharing information or serving as a tool of the Chinese government.”

The Biden administration have been in talks with TikTok officials for months as they try to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of its hundreds of millions of users in the US.

TikTok is also facing legal challenges elsewhere. In the UK, the social media company could face a  £27m ($29m)fine for failing to protect children’s privacy when they are using the platform.

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