Data sharing: TikTok refutes Shashi Tharoor's claims

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 03, 2019, 11.53 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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'The federal regulators in the US recently slapped a fine of $5.7 million on TikTok for illegally collecting data on children,' Tharoor said during the Zero Hour in Parliament on Monday.

Video-sharing app TikTok is again in news. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said in Parliament that there were reports that the Chinese government received data from TikTok through state-owned China Telecom.

"The federal regulators in the US recently slapped a fine of $5.7 million on TikTok for illegally collecting data on children," Tharoor said during the Zero Hour in Parliament on Monday.

But the company refuted the claims that it is illegally collecting user data and sending it to China. "These claims are simply untrue. The privacy and security of our users is a top priority for TikTok, and we abide by local laws and regulations in the markets where we operate," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to TikTok, it "does not operate in the People's Republic of China and their government has no access to TikTok users' data, nor does it have any existing partnership with China Telecom."

"Our Indian users' data is stored in the US and Singapore at industry-leading third-party data centres," it added.

The app was recently embroiled in legal issues in India when the Madras High Court, hearing a petition, asked the central government to ban TikTok, saying it encouraged pornography and made child users vulnerable to sexual predators. Google blocked access to TikTok on its Play Store in India in April after the high court observation.

The Supreme Court, however, gave the company relief and vacated the high court order.

Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has nearly 200 million users in India.

(With inputs from agencies)