The Indian government has asked Google and Apple to remove the Tik Tok app from their app stores. Government’s move came after the Supreme Court refused to stay ban on the Tik Tok app imposed by an earlier order of Madras High Court.
In its judgment, the Madras High Court had provided the center with the deadline of 16th April to act on laws protecting children’s privacy, like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in US.
The court had showed concern on the app as it instigates suicidal instincts. It also leads to child abuse by the sexual predators and paedophiles. AIADMK legislator Thamimun Ansari had also moved for the banning in Tamil Nadu Assembly citing the similar reasons of cultural degradation. The court had put pressure on the fact that the app contains inappropriate content which affect the young minds. It exploits the youngsters as they come in contact with unknown people and hence fall in trap of the wrong doers.
Articles and news regarding the app have reported users posting inappropriate bios that included sexual contents. In addition to this, the Peterson Institute for International Economics has investigated into the app that revealed national security problems faced by the West.
The Tik Tok was launched in 2016 by the Beijing based ByteDance.Co and it was 4th most non-game downloaded app and marked its one billion download in 2019. It is an app that allows its users to record 3-15 seconds videos and share it. This spread like a viral fever among the teens all over the world. It has about 54 miliion monthly users in India.
It is not just India but even the western countries doubt the credibility of the apps that are made by the Chinese industries. Including Tik Tok, Chinese apps like the UC Browser , WeChat and 360 Security have come under the scrutiny. The Indian government has reported around 42 such apps as dangerous. These apps have also been declared as Spywares, as they ask for unnecessary data and send it to the Chinese servers. A study commissioned by the Economic Times has seen that 69% of the data from these apps were transferred to US and also to 7 outside agencies.
With India still lacking firm laws and policies supporting data protection it becomes imperative to keep vigilance on apps like Tik Tok. It is important to protect the users against data breach.