Indiana has sued the social media platform TikTok, claiming it is deceiving users about China’s access to their data and exposing children to mature content.
The short-video sharing app TikTok is owned by a Chinese company ByteDance.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) said the app violates the state’s consumer protection laws by not disclosing the Chinese government’s potential to access sensitive consumer information.
The complaint goes on to say that the app also deceives its young users and their parents by exposing them to mature content. Its age rating of 12-plus in the Apple and Google app stores is deceiving, the complaint said, adding that sexual and substance-related content can easily be found and are pushed by the company to children using TikTok.
Rokita wants emergency injunctive relief and civil penalties against TikTok.
It is not the only state taking action in some form against TikTok.
This week as well, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he ordered all state agencies to ban TikTok on government-issued devices.
Abbott followed it up with a tweet that the Chinese Communist Party poses a growing threat to U.S. cybersecurity.
Also this week, an emergency directive was issued by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan that prohibited the use of TikTok on state government devices and networks.
The actions by Indiana and Texas followed an emergency directive issued a day earlier by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan that prohibited the use of TikTok on state government devices and networks.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem last week signed an executive order barring state employees and contractors from installing or using TikTok on state-owned devices.
And in South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster this week asked a state agency to ban TikTok from state government phones and computers.
TikTok says the concerns among state governments within the U.S. are largely fueled by misinformation.