TikTok is one of the most popular apps around the world, although there has been a lot of issues related to the app. It was banned in India for a short time out of a Public interest petition until the Madras High court lifted the ban. The parent company Bytedance and Musical.ly which was acquired by Bytedance in 2017 along with TikTok are being sued in the United States for mishandling the personal information entered in the app by children.
They could not put a ban or take adequate measures over the number of children/ minors using the app. The lawsuit was filed against the app by The United States district court for the Northern District of Illinois. The users have to enter their phone numbers, email id, photos, first and last names etc. which can be viewed by anyone.
The lawsuit claims that the app has set the default settings for personal information as public for the new accounts and thus any person on the app can search and find this information and access the bios and photos of the users. Along with this, the lawsuit states that the app had collected location data of the users between December 2015 and October 2016 using which anyone on the app can find out the location of a user through TikTok.
The complain says “Because the App had virtually all privacy features disabled by default, there were serious ramifications, including reports on adults trying to contact minors/children via the App.”
“These reports exposed the dangerous potential of the App, which allowed adults posing as children to send inappropriate messages to minor children using the app” they added.
For these allegations, the TikTok spokesperson reacted as “ TikTok was made aware of the allegations in the complaint some time ago, and although, we disagree with much of what is alleged in the complaint, we have been working with the parties involved to reach a resolution of the issue.”