Technology: TikTok accused of secretly gathering user data and sending it to China - - PressFrom - US
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Technology TikTok accused of secretly gathering user data and sending it to China

05:05  03 december  2019
05:05  03 december  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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TikTok , known for its quirky 15-second videos, has been illegally and secretly harvesting vast amounts of personally-identifiable user data and sending it to China The lawsuit also accuses the company and its Chinese parent company ByteDance of taking user content such as draft videos without their

According to the filing, TikTok transferred user data to two servers in China - bugly.qq.com and umeng.com - as recently as April 2019 The lawsuit also claims that source code from Chinese tech giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is embedded within the TikTok app, as is code from Igexin, a Chinese

TikTok, known for its quirky 15-second videos, has been illegally and secretly harvesting vast amounts of personally identifiable user data and sending it to China, according to a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in California federal court last week.

a close up of a sign: TikTok is being sued for allegedly harvesting users' data without consent. Getty Images© Provided by CNET TikTok is being sued for allegedly harvesting users' data without consent. Getty Images

The lawsuit also accuses the company and its Chinese parent company ByteDance of taking user content such as draft videos without their consent and having "ambiguous" privacy policies. It raises concerns that data gathered by TikTok could be used to identify, profile and track users in the US. The company is benefiting from this alleged activity because it uses this data to sell targeted ads, the lawsuit alleges.

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A California college student has accused popular video-sharing app TikTok in a class-action lawsuit of transferring private user data to servers in China The allegations may deepen legal troubles in the United States for TikTok , which is owned by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co but operates entirely

A California college student has accused popular video-sharing app TikTok in a class-action lawsuit of transferring private user data to servers in China , despite the company's assurances that it does not store personal data there. The allegations may deepen legal troubles in the United States for.

a close up of a sign: TikTok is being sued for allegedly harvesting user data without their consent. © Getty Images

TikTok is being sued for allegedly harvesting user data without their consent.

"TikTok's lighthearted fun comes at a heavy cost," according to the lawsuit, which was filed on Friday.

The allegations against the popular short video app are the latest example of the growing security concerns surrounding TikTok, which surpassed 1.5 billion downloads worldwide in November. The US government is also reportedly looking into the app for potential security risks.

Misty Hong, a college student and resident of Palo Alto, California, is suing ByteDance, TikTok and Musical.ly, a lip-sync app that was rebranded as TikTok, for allegedly violating a federal computer fraud law, the California Constitution's right to privacy and other laws.

TikTok's parent company reportedly faces a national security review

  TikTok's parent company reportedly faces a national security review Recently TikTok's popularity has exploded worldwide, and so has scrutiny over the app's parent company ByteDance and its relationship to the Chinese government. Now Reuters reports that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has opened a national security review of the company, because it had not sought approval to make its $1 billion acquisition of Musical.ly in 2017. US lawmakers have expressed concern's over theUS lawmakers have expressed concern's over the app's ability to collect data, while the company responded saying "TikTok is committed to being a trusted and responsible corporate citizen in the US, which includes working with Congress and all relevant regulatory agencies.

TikTok is primarily accused of amassing huge amounts of personal data without user consent, and transferring that data directly to servers in China . later dubbed TikTok - to secretly gather and send to Beijing user geotags, age, private messages, phone numbers, contacts, gender, browsing history

Google is secretly using hidden web pages that feed the personal data of its users to advertisers, undermining its own policies and circumventing EU privacy regulations that require consent and The page showed no content but had a unique address that linked it to Mr Ryan’s browsing activity.

TikTok videos often include close-ups of people's faces, allowing the company to gather biometric data on its users, according to the lawsuit. 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.

Hong downloaded TikTok in March or April 2019 but never created an account, according to the lawsuit. Months later, she discovered TikTok made one for her. She created five or six videos using the app but never saved or published the videos. Still, TikTok secretly took the videos and her data without her knowledge and sent the information to servers in China, according to the lawsuit.

TikTok is gathering a trove of data about its users, including their phone and social network contacts, email addresses, IP address, location and other information, according to the lawsuit. The company allegedly uses different tactics to conceal that they're transferring user data. Even when a user closes the app, it still harvests biometric and user data, the lawsuit states.

Citing articles from news outlets such as CNBC, Quartz and Affinity Magazine, the lawsuit alleges user data was sent to China. It lists several Chinese servers the data was transferred to before and after February 2019.

TikTok and Hong's lawyers didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

TikTok apologizes for removing viral video criticizing Chinese treatment of Uighur Muslim community .
The video was removed due to human error, TikTok says.TikTok, a social media platform where users post short videos, has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times. The Chinese app is reportedly under investigation by the US over national security concerns.

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