TikTok, which is the Apple App Store’s fifth most-downloaded app of 2019, is being sued by a California college student over allegations the popular social media app transferred her data to Chinese servers—something TikTok says it does not do.
As Reuters reports, the lawsuit alleges TikTok “vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China vast quantities of private and personally identifiable user data.” What’s especially alarming is that the plaintiff says though she downloaded the TikTok app in March or April of 2019, she never actually created a TikTok account.
Instead, she says TikTok created an account for her and began sucking ups details about her from videos she made but never posted. Such data included biometric information and the websites she visited on her phone. That data was allegedly then transferred to two servers in China owned by Tencent and Alibaba.
The allegations are sure to do the company no favors in the U.S. In November the New York Times reported that the U.S. government has opened a national security review into the company. Over the course of 2019, nation-states have become increasingly wary of popular apps that are made by companies in countries they consider their adversaries. That apprehension and distrust of some foreign-made apps are sure to only grow in 2020.