03:59 GMT03 March 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Chinese-built app TikTok has drawn flak in India with the Madras High Court even  imposing a ban on the video-sharing app, claiming that it exposes young minds to pornographic content and will therefore result in cultural degradation. The ban, however, was later lifted by the court.

    Leaving behind the US, India sent a total of 118 requests to the Chinese multi-media platform TikTok asking for user information or content removal in the first half of 2019.

    According to a transparency report, the requests from India were made up of 99 legal requests and eight emergency requests. Information was sought for around 143 accounts and the details were provided in 47 percent of requests.

    In terms of content removal, the government put forward 11 requests to delete matter that the Indian government claimed was in violation of local laws. Falling in line with the requests, eight accounts were restricted or removed, while dacontent was removed or restricted in four of the cases.

    "In balancing our responsibilities to law enforcement with our respect for the privacy of our users, we respond only to legally valid requests and only with the requisite amount of information needed",  media reports quoted Eric Ebenstein, TikTok's public policy chief, as saying.

    The US, on the other hand, sent 79 requests to the short-video making platform, including 68 legal requests and 11 emergency requests for around 255 accounts.

    The other nations that also sent in requests to TikTok were Japan (35) and Norway (11).

    The Madras High Court had, in April 2019, issued a directive to the Indian government and the Ministry of Information and Technology, ordering its removal from Google Play and the Apple App Store. It claimed that the content on the video-sharing app is detrimental to minors.

    Not only India, but the US too, has raised security concerns regarding personal data and launched an official investigation into the multi-media platform.

    The China-owned app that has nearly 200 million users in the country, is the biggest market for TikTok comprising 44 percent of total downloads of the app worldwide.


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