TikTok sued for sending user data to China
The famous app for sharing videos TikTok has been hit with a class action Lawsuit in the United States of America. The Lawsuit sued TikTok for sending ‘vast amount’ of user data to China.
TikTok has been accused of ‘’Surreptitiously’’ taking user data without user content. The Lawsuit was filed in a Californian court claiming, TikTok ‘’Clandestinely’’ swiped up and transferred private and personally identifiable user data without the consent of user.
Lawsuit declared that the data can be used to identify profile and track users in the United States ‘’Now and in the Future’’.
TikTok transferred the data to two severs in China, bugly.qq.com and umeng.com according to the filing. The data transferred includes information about user’s device, websites the user has visited, facial scans, birthdays, phone and social network contacts, browsing history and more.
The lawsuit also claims that TikTok illegally generates revenue from ‘’Secret Harvesting’’ of private data by using that data to develop ‘’Vast Targeted Advertising Revenues and Profits’’
The apps pervades user devices and extract wide range of private and personally identifiable information that defendants use to track and profile users to target them. The information extracted from users is used to target users with advertising effectively and efficiently.
According to the Lawsuit filed on Friday “TikTok’s lighthearted fun comes at a heavy cost”. The videos made with the app TikTok often include close-ups of faces, that allows company to gather biometric data of its users, stated in the lawsuit. Once a user records a video and clicks next button the video is transferred to several domains without their knowledge. This happens before the user can save or post the video on app.
The Palo Alto resident named Misty Hong claims the she downloaded TikTok around March or April 2019 but did not create an account. She played around with the app, made a few draft videos but never uploaded them publically.
Hong claims that the app ‘’ surreptitiously’’ acquired her personal data. Hong also claims that months after the app TikTok created an account for her without her permission.
The Californian student also accused TikTok that the stealing of data damaged her phone’s battery, memory, CPU and bandwidth.
You can start making a video long before creating an account on the app TikTok but to post the video you will have to sign up for an account.
Number of Chinese servers by the name have been identified and are claimed by lawsuit of being operated by tech giants Tencent and Alibaba. TikTok could be compelled by US Government to hand over TikTok for storing Us citizens data.
The source code from Chinese tech giant Baidu is embedded within the TikTok app, as is code from Igexin, a Chinese advertising company, claimed in the lawsuit. This was discovered by the researchers discovered in 2017. It allows developers to install spyware on a user’s phone.
TikTok has been under surveillance from US officials because of TikTok being developed by a Chinese company and is now under Army investigation of how it handles US user data.
TikTok did not respond to requests for comments immediately.
No legal documents proving evidence of existence of Baidu or Igexin source code in TikTok was provided.
TikTok which has about half a billion active users all over the World said that it does not store US data on servers.
Extreme pressure is being faced by TikTok for data collection and censorship concerns.