As Reuters reports, the lawsuit alleges TikTok "vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally identifiable user data".More news: 'Misleading' Deliveroo ad banned after attracting 300 complaints
The class-action lawsuit was filed the day before Thanksgiving in California federal court, The Daily Beast said Monday. The app is owned by Beijing-based firm ByteDance but has quickly built up a large U.S. user base, primarily of young people. According to the complaint, the publisher ByteDance would collect user content like unpublished videos without the consent of users and rely on very ambiguous terms around privacy. According to court documents cited by the media outlet, TikTok is primarily accused of amassing huge amounts of personal data without user consent, and transferring that data directly to servers in China. She alleges that months later TikTok had created an account for her on the app and "surreptitiously" took draft videos that she had created but not published on the app. TikTok removed the video once it went viral and later claimed it was by mistake.
Information gleaned from the accounts include facial scans, birthdays, phone and social network contacts, browsing history and more, according to the suit.More news: Samoa shutting down all services as death toll rises
In particular, Hong's lawsuit claims that between recording a video and posting it on TikTok, an alleged intermediary stage saves the video and transfers the unposted video file to the ByteDance servers without user permission.
TikTok, which is thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide, has previously said it does not store USA data on Chinese servers.More news: Pakistani magnate delivers $ 244 million to resolve United Kingdom corruption investigation
TikTok has repeatedly said that the Chinese government has no access to the company's user information, because the social media giant reportedly stores US user data in Virginia, with some backup in Singapore. "Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the USA and brief Congress on these findings". Currently, TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is facing pressure from the US Government, facing an investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.