According to TikTok's new transparency report, the number of legal requests from governments for TikTok user data has increased over the past six months, with India and the United States leading the way.
The transparency report published on Thursday deals with the second half of 2019 (July-December). During this time, governments around the world made 500 legal claims – the United States made 100 of these requests – from either law enforcement agencies or government agencies regarding user information and content. India led all other countries with a total of 302 requests.
None of the 500 claims came from Hong Kong or China. This may be because TikTok runs another app, Douyin, on the Chinese market. A TikTok spokesman referred Digital Trends to Douyin to comment on how often China and the Hong Kong government requested user data.
A Douyin spokesman did not immediately respond to digital trends. We will update this story when we hear something.
In total, TikTok removed more than 49 million videos for violating the app's community guidelines. Over 16 million videos were removed in India, followed by more than 4 million videos in the United States.
The number of TikTok user removal requests was 45, with the U.S. having only one government application that resulted in an account being removed or restricted.
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The report comes a few days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is "reviewing" the ban on Chinese social media apps like TikTok. In an interview with Fox News, Pompeo warned people that they should only download the app if they want their "private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party".
It is not the first time that the U.S. government has reviewed TikTok. In February last year, TikTok was fined $ 5.7 million for violating COPPA, a data protection law for children. In November, the U.S. government launched a national security investigation into the app, particularly with regard to the company's adoption of the Musical.ly app.
India, TikTok's second largest market, was the first to officially ban the app last month and raised privacy concerns about other apps based in China. TikTok is also no longer operating in Hong Kong due to a controversial new security law that threatens freedom of expression.