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US College Student Sues TikTok For Sending Her Data To China

US College Student Sues TikTok For Sending Her Data To China

A California college student has filed a lawsuit against the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok, alleging that the company illegally transferred private user data to China, according to Reuters.

What Happened

Misty Hong, a college student from Palo Alto, California, downloaded the TikTok app in spring 2019, according to the lawsuit. She never created an account with the app, but months later discovered that TikTok already made an account for her, without her consent.

She also found that the account contains her personal and biometric information taken from the videos she made but never posted to the TikTok platform, according to the lawsuit. Hong also alleged in the lawsuit that TikTok and its parent company ByteDance secretly “vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data,” says the lawsuit, initially reported by The Daily Beast, according to Reuters.

Why It Matters

TikTok earlier came under the scrutiny of the US army for security risks. The company, however, responded that allegations of illegal data collection brought against them were false.

"We store all TikTok U.S. user data in the United States, with backup redundancy in Singapore. Our data centers are located entirely outside of China, and none of our data is subject to Chinese law,” said the company.

Despite that assurance, however, the new class-action lawsuit filed against them in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California could deepen legal troubles for them in the US.

What’s Next

TikTok did not provide any comments on the charges brought against them but continues to insist that they store all their private user data in the U.S. itself with backups in Singapore.

Posted-In: California China social mediaNews Legal Tech Media General Best of Benzinga


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