TikTok is once again in the centre of another controversy as Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Monday alleged that the app is illegally collecting data and sending it to China.
Tharoor, speaking during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, said that it is a matter of national security. He said that he would like to draw the attention of the House to India’s vulnerability to data leakage and surveillance. He said that there is an absence of a robust comprehensive data protection framework in the country.
He further alleged that the Chinese government is receiving all the data from TikTok through the wholly state-owned China Telecom. “Recently, the federal regulators in the US slapped a fine of 5.7 million dollars on the social media app TikTok for illegally collecting data on children,” he said.
Thoor further added that the government needs to introduce a legal framework to protect the fundamental right to privacy and save democracy of the country. This has sparked a fresh controversy on the popular application TikTok.
The app was earlier banned by the Madras High Court after a petition was filed to block the application from the country. The court then banned the application citing that it encourages pornography and illicit content. The app was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store right after the ban. The developer of the application, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, said that the ban is badly affecting its business and causing up to $500,000 (roughly Rs. 3.5 crores) a day and even put more than 250 jobs at risk.
The bench vacated its interim order of banning the application on Wednesday. However, the Bench said that Tik Tok needs to make sure that no pornographic videos should be uploaded on its platform. Failing to curb this will mean contempt of court.