Judge dismisses Indiana state’s lawsuit against TikTok over child safety concerns

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Judge dismisses Indiana state’s lawsuit against TikTok over child safety concerns


A decide dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Indiana in opposition to TikTok accusing the corporate of constructing false claims in regards to the security of person information and age-appropriate content material.

Choose Jennifer DeGroote of Allen County Superior Courtroom in Fort Wayne, Indiana, stated the courtroom “lacks private jurisdiction” over TikTok and that downloading an app for free of charge doesn’t represent a “client transaction” below the Indiana Misleading Shopper Gross sales Act, in keeping with courtroom paperwork. The ruling was first reported by the Related Press.

The lawsuit, which was filed in December 2022 initially as two lawsuits and later consolidated, was the primary serious action taken by a state in opposition to the social media platform. Related lawsuits now stay energetic in different states together with Arkansas and Utah.

The workplace of Indiana Lawyer Common Todd Rokita informed CNN in a press release the state respects the ruling however “we additionally disagree with it on varied factors and are contemplating appellate choices at the moment.”

“We had been the primary state to file swimsuit in opposition to TikTok, however not the final, and it’s reassuring to see others take up this ongoing combat in opposition to a international Large Tech risk, in any jurisdiction,” the assertion stated.

On the time of the submitting, Rokita known as TikTok a “malicious and menacing risk unleashed on unsuspecting Indiana shoppers by a Chinese language firm that is aware of full effectively the harms it inflicts on customers.”

TikTok didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The lawsuit alleged TikTok attracts younger folks to its platform below the pretense that it’s secure but nonetheless exposes them to inappropriate content material together with drug and alcohol use, nudity and profanity. It additionally claimed the corporate collects delicate information and private details about shoppers in Indiana and that the corporate, owned by Chinese language tech big ByteDance, “has deceived these shoppers to consider that this data is protected against the Chinese language authorities and Communist Occasion.”

Final month, Indiana joined dozens of states in a lawsuit in opposition to Instagram-parent Meta over considerations that its options are addictive and may hurt younger customers’ psychological well being.

The heightened consideration round these points follows the 2021 launch of tens of 1000’s of inner firm paperwork by Fb whistleblower Frances Haugen that exposed the corporate knew its merchandise might have unfavorable impacts on younger folks’s psychological well being.

Indiana was additionally one of many first states that ordered TikTok to be banned on government-issued gadgets, citing the specter of “getting access to important U.S. data and infrastructure.”

– CNN’s Clare Duffy contributed to this report

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