A judge from Indiana County recently dismissed a lawsuit that the state of Indiana filed against the popular social media app TikTok. The app was charged with violating user privacy and putting kids in danger with offensive content.
Background of the lawsuit
Todd Rokita, Indiana’s current attorney general, filed two separate lawsuits in December 2022, accusing TikTok of misleading users about the appropriateness of the platform’s content and users’ data privacy. The claims stated that the app contained malicious and dangerous content despite claiming it was safe for kids aged 13 and under. In addition, the lawsuit also claimed that TikTok is deceiving users about the security of their data.
Indiana was the first state to file lawsuit against TikTok. There are similar lawsuits against TikTok that are still pending in Utah and Arkansas.
“We were the first state to file suit against TikTok, but not the last, and it’s reassuring to see others take up this ongoing fight against a foreign Big Tech threat in any jurisdiction,” Rokita’s spokesperson said.
Dismissal of the lawsuit
The case was dismissed by Judge Jennifer L. DeGroote in October due to a lack of personal jurisdiction. DeGroote argued that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the lawsuit since the app is free to download, which means that it does not violate the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.
Rokita, who is still opposed to the litigation, disagreed with the decision and is thinking about filing an appeal.
Indiana is one of the many states that have ordered to delete TikTok from government-issued devices. The first state to pass a full ban was Montana, and the ban is set to go into effect in January.
In October, Indiana also joined several States in suing Meta Platforms Inc. over concerns about data collection on kids under the age of 13.