The Madras high court has directed the Indian government to prohibit the download of Bytedance-owned video share mobile application Tik Tok, saying it was encouraging pornography.
The court has also directed media organizations to not “telecast the videos made using the Tik Tok mobile app.” The central government has been asked to respond whether a legislation similar to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as in the US, can be brought in India.
“It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. By becoming addicted to Tik Tok App., and similar Apps., or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mindset of the children are spoiled,” the court has observed.
In February, the IT minister of Tamil Nadu state had described some of its content as "unbearable". Another group close to the ruling party BJP called for the app to be banned.
Recently, Tik Tok was fined USD 5.7 million fine in US to settle allegations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it illegally collected personal information from children. FTC is an independent agency of the US government that deals with consumer protection and prevention of anticompetitive business practices.
Tik Tok was charged by the FTC with violating Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, by failing to require parental consent for users under 13, neglecting to notify parents about how the app collected personal information of underage users and not permitting parents to request for deletion of their children’s data.
The app crossed one billion downloads in February this year, according to a report by market insights research firm Sensor Tower.