TikTok has been a rage among the youth in India ever since the app saw the light of the day in the country. But, the app has also been facing several roadblocks due to security issues. This time around, the government has set a deadline for Chinese social media apps TikTok and Helo.
TikTok and Helo are owned by China-based internet firm ByteDance.
Here's why TikTok may be banned in India after July 22:
We remember when TikTok was removed from Android and iPhone app stores a few months back after an interim order by Madras High Court. However, the micro-video site was later restored to the app stores after the court accepted its plea that TikTok was working on ways to monitor and remove troublesome content. Now, it is facing certain challenges again. The government has posed 24 questions to both Tiktok and Helo over the alleged misuse of their platforms for "anti-national activities" in India. The Centre has set a deadline of July 22 for the apps to submit appropriate responses or face a ban. In their defence, both the apps had said India is one of their strongest markets and they will fully collaborate with the government to meet their obligations.
But what has led to govt scrutiny of Tiktok?
Firstly, it is alleged that these apps are being used for anti-national and illegal activities. Ofcourse, no government would allow any such occurences.
Secondly, concerns were also raised over transferring of data. Assurance has been sought from both Chinese apps that the data of Indian users are not being transferred and will not be transferred in future to any other foreign government or any third party or private entity.
Thirdly, issues like fake news have also figured here. Response has been sought on the initiatives being taken to check fakje news and steps being taken to be compliant under Indian laws.
Fourth, Helo has been asked to reply on allegations that it paid a huge sum for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on other social media sites.
Fifth, concerns around violation of child privacy norms too have been flagged. The government has sought explanation on why the minimum entry age has been fixed at 13 years since a person below 18 is considered a child in India.
Sixth, TikTok and Helo have been questioned about excessive data collected by them, number and kind of information sought by law enforcement agencies, employees and offices they have in India, details of charges and outcome of investigation by the UK Information Commission against TikTok, and if minors are prevented from watching content with "risk warning tag."