Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed an amended lawsuit against China-owned TikTok to hold the social media platform accountable for allegedly collecting personal data that is then made accessible to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), according to a lawsuit exclusively obtained by Breitbart News.
In December, Rokita filed two lawsuits against TikTok, alleging the app misleads its users, particularly children, about the level of inappropriate content and the security of consumer information.
As Breitbart News reported:
Indiana AG Todd Rokita (R) claimed in a suit filed Wednesday that TikTok contains “salacious and inappropriate content” that young users may obtain “for unlimited periods of time, day and night, in an effort to line TikTok’s pockets with billions of dollars from U.S. consumers,” according to a report by the Associated Press.
“At the very least, the company owes consumers the truth about the age-appropriateness of its content and the insecurity of the data it collects on users,” Rokita said in a press release on Wednesday.
The Attorney General added that the Chinese app has users’ sensitive and personal information, but deceives users into believing that their information is secure.
This week, Rokita amended the lawsuit for “blatantly” violating Indiana law by collecting data that is accessible to the CCP.
According to the amended lawsuit:
TikTok tells Indiana consumers that their data is protected by comprehensive company protocols and practices, including rigid access controls managed by a U.S.-based security team. TikTok says it has never given the Chinese Government access to that data, and that it never would. TikTok says that none of this data is subject to Chinese law.
But the highly sensitive data that TikTok collects from Indiana consumers is and has been accessible, in multiple ways, by individuals and entities subject to Chinese law and China’s oppressive regime, including but not limited to laws requiring cooperation with China’s national intelligence institutions and cybersecurity regulators. Chinese State and Communist Party officials have interpreted Chinese law as applying to any data in which China has a national intelligence or security interest, no matter where the data is located.
TikTok previously removed Indiana’s lawsuit to federal court, but a federal judge sided with Indiana on May 23 and remanded the case back to state court.
“Not only do TikTok’s false, deceptive and misleading practices blatantly violate Indiana law,” Rokita said in a statement. “But they also endanger individual Hoosiers.”
A software researcher recently claimed that China-owned TikTok’s in-app browser is capable of monitoring and recording user keystrokes, which the company has since confirmed. https://t.co/xUPYUxDL3Y
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) August 19, 2022
Rokita accused the CCP of using TikTok to “advance its own strategic agenda,” and blasted U.S. policy makers for staying silent on the issue.
“Too many U.S. policymakers put their heads in the sand while the Chinese Communist Party steals data and uses it to advance its own strategic agenda,” Rokita added. “Bit by bit, we see Beijing respects no borders in exercising its control of ByteDance. Any and all data is useful to a totalitarian government.”
The case is Indiana v. TikTok, No. 02D03-2212-PL-000401 in the Superior Court of Allen County.
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