TikTok harmful for children, govt should prohibit downloading of mobile app: Madras HC

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Updated: April 3, 2019 11:30:11 PM

The app gained 71.3 million new users in January, out of which 43% were from India. 

The bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice SS Sundar also asked the Centre if it was planning on enacting a legislation similar to United State’s  Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as per a report in Bar and Bench.

The Madras High Court issued an interim order on Wednesday directing the government to prohibit the download of the mobile application TikTok. The court also asked media to not telecast any video uploaded on the app.

The court expressed concern over the ‘inappropriate’ content that children are being exposed to on the app. The bench of Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice SS Sundar also asked the Centre if it was planning on enacting a legislation similar to United State’s  Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as per a report in Bar and Bench.

The court noted that the risks pertaining to TikTok cannot be ruled out and that the app has already been banned in a number of countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Observing that the US administration has already come up with steps like Children Online Privacy Act to prevent bullying of children online, the court asked the Centre to come up with similar steps. It pointed out that the government should have taken these measures much earlier, especially when there was furore in the country over the Blue Whale challenge.

Recently, TikTok crossed one billion downloads on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as per app analytics company Sensor Tower. This data did not include the Android downloads in TikTok’s home market China, where the app is known as Douyin.

The app gained 71.3 million new users in January, out of which 43% were from India.

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