Chinese short-video making platform TikTok is being accused by a college student from Palo Alto. As per the class-action lawsuit, the company is allegedly gathering private user data, and sending it to servers in China.
The college student accusing the China-based company is Misty Hong. Hong alleges that TikTok and parent company ByteDance neglected their duty to handle user data with care. The student further claims that the companies “knowingly violated” a series of statutes governing data gathering and the right to privacy.
The lawsuit also accuses ByteDance of taking user content such as draft videos without their consent. It reportedly also offers “ambiguous” privacy policies. This raises concerns that data could be used to identify, profile and track users in the US, CNET reports. “TikTok’s lighthearted fun comes at a heavy cost,” the lawsuit, filed on Friday, alleges.
TikTok videos often include close-ups of people’s faces. This reportedly allows the firm to gather biometric data of its users. Once a user shoots a video and clicks the “next” button, the videos are transferred to various domains without their knowledge. This happens before users even save or post a video on the app, the lawsuit states, the report adds.
This comes days after the Chinese short-video making platform apologized and restored the account of a US teenager. The account was blocked after she posted a video criticizing the Chinese government over its treatment of Uighur Muslims.
With Inputs from IANS