TikTok Sued By U.S. College Student Over Use Of Data

A California college student has sued the TikTok, the viral video service run by ByteDance Inc. for allegedly sending her personal information to China and using her videos posted on the social media video app.

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The lawsuit was filed last week in the Northern District of California by Misty Hong. She accuses TikTok of sending her videos and personal information to the ByteDance’s servers in China without her consent. Her lawyers did not provide evidence in the filing.

ByteDance has been under recent attacks from its mainly-teenage U.S. users and politicians. Two years ago, the company acquired, which created TikTok. The acquisition is being looked into by lawmakers for potential national security risks. Over 1.45 billion users have installed the app in their phones, 564 this year alone. Users in the U.S. grew over 35% in the third quarter, per Sensor Tower.

In the lawsuit, Hong’s lawyers state, “TikTok’s lighthearted fun comes at a heavy cost. TikTok unjustly profits from its secret harvesting of private and personally-identifiable user data by, among other things, using such data to derive vast targeted-advertising revenues and profits.” Hong has accused the app for privacy violations, fraudulently using her data and unfair competition. “TikTok clandestinely has vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data that can be employed to identify, profile and track the location and activities of users in the United States now and in the future,” the filing continued.

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