Class action suit accuses TikTok of transferring US user data to China

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TikTok, one of the world’s most popular video-sharing apps, has been slapped with a class action lawsuit that claims the company transferred private user data to China without consent. 

The complaint was filed by a California-based university student who alleges she downloaded TikTok but did not create an account. 

According to the lawsuit, TikTok created an account for her several months later. The platform then took draft videos she had created but never intended to publish and sent the data to two servers in China. 

“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 complaint reads. 

TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance and is estimated to have 500 million active users worldwide.  

Alongside its growing popularity in recent years, the platform has come under mounting pressure from US lawmakers to address allegations that it answers to the Chinese state. TikTok has repeatedly dismissed claims of government interference.