UNITED STATES NEWS

Indiana judge dismisses state’s lawsuit against TikTok that alleged child safety, privacy concerns

Nov 29, 2023, 4:05 PM | Updated: 4:24 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana county judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state accusing TikTok of deceiving its users about the level of inappropriate content for children on its platform and the security of its consumers’ personal information.

A pair of lawsuits filed in December 2022 accused the app of misleading its viewers — particularly children — alleging the app contains “salacious and inappropriate content” despite the company claiming it is safe for children 13 years and under. In the second complaint, the state argued that the app deceives consumers into believing their sensitive and personal information is secure. The lawsuits have since been consolidated. The latest hearing on the motion to dismiss was held in October.

Judge Jennifer L. DeGroote of the Allen County Superior Court in Fort Wayne made the ruling.

The dismissal is an apparent national first with similar lawsuits pending in Arkansas and Utah.

In a written statement, a spokesperson for Attorney General Todd Rokita said the office is “considering appellate options at this time.”

There were previous signs of skepticism from courts about the Republican attorney general’s arguments.

In May, an Indiana county judge ruled that downloading the free app does not equate to a consumer transaction under state law, dealing a blow to Rokita, who has cast himself as an enemy of social media giants including Meta.

Allen County Superior Court Judge Craig Bobay also ruled at that time that state courts do not have authority over TikTok’s statements to Apple’s app store as both companies are based in California. He added that no aspect of the “age rating process” takes place in Indiana.

A federal judge later rejected TikTok’s request to move the lawsuit to federal court, but also described the attorney general’s lawsuit as largely “ political posturing ” in a ruling.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. The app has been a target of state and federal lawmakers over the past year who say the Chinese government could access its users’ data.

Indiana is among several states and the federal government that have ordered the TikTok app deleted from government-issued devices. Montana became the first state in the U.S. to pass a complete ban on the app in May, set to go into effect Jan. 1.

Indiana joined dozens of U.S. states that sued Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. in October, saying collects data on children under the age of 13 without their parents’ consent. According to newly unsealed documents, Meta deliberately engineered its social platforms to addict children and never disclosed it received millions of complaints about underage users on Instagram. It only disabled a fraction of those accounts.

United States News

Associated Press

1 killed, 17 injured in New York City apartment fire

NEW YORK (AP) — One person was killed and 17 were injured in a fire that broke out at a New York City apartment building, leaving some residents trapped on the fire escape on Friday. Twelve people were taken to area hospitals, and four were in critical condition, officials said at a news conference. One […]

10 minutes ago

(Karim Jaafar/Pool via AP)...

Associated Press

Biden administration restores Trump-rescinded policy on illegitimacy of Israeli settlements

The Biden administration on Friday restored a U.S. legal finding dating back nearly 50 years that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are “illegitimate” under international law.

38 minutes ago

FILE - E. Jean Carroll leaves Manhattan federal court, Oct. 23, 2023, in New York. Former President...

Associated Press

Trump’s lawyers seek to suspend $83M defamation verdict, citing ‘strong probability’ it won’t stand

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s lawyers asked a New York judge Friday to suspend an $83.3 million defamation verdict against the former president, saying there was a “strong probability” that it would be reduced on appeal, if not eliminated. The lawyers made the request in Manhattan federal court, where a civil jury in late […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event J...

Associated Press

Trump says he strongly supports IVF after Alabama court ruling puts new pressure on Republicans

Former President Donald Trump said Friday that he would “strongly support the availability of IVF" and called on lawmakers in Alabama to preserve access to the treatment.

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — National security adviser Jake Sullivan; Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Sullivan; Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif.; Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova; Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich. ___ CNN’s […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Small, nonthreatening balloon intercepted over Utah by NORAD

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A small and nonthreatening balloon spotted flying high over the mountainous Western United States was intercepted by fighter jets over Utah on Friday, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORAD fighter pilots sent Friday morning to investigate the balloon determined it was not maneuverable and did not present […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Indiana judge dismisses state’s lawsuit against TikTok that alleged child safety, privacy concerns