TikTok sheds light on government requests for data - Mobile World Live

TikTok sheds light on government requests for data

09 JUL 2020

TikTok revealed for the first time the number of government requests for accessing user information in 2019, while also throwing light on its progress on taking down videos due to policy violations.

In a transparency report published today (9 July), the company said it received 298 legal requests for information from 28 countries in the first half of 2019, with a further 500 from 26 countries in the second half.

The Indian government filed a total of 409 requests for account information in 2019, with 302 entered in the second half of the year alone. Requests from US authorities came second, with a total of 179 for the period.

India was also the country which filed the most requests for content removal, with a total of 41 appeals over the year.

For the first time in its history, TikTok provided data on the number of videos removed from the platform due to violations. In H2 2019 it took down less than 1 per cent of all videos, amounting to 49.2 million videos globally. Of those, more than 16 million were from India, followed by 4.5 million in the US and 3.7 million in Pakistan.

Notably, the lists of government requests for account information and content restriction do not include China, as the company stated it had not received any legal requests from there.

The offering for short-form videos is under scrutiny by some US officials over security concerns about an alleged link to the Chinese government, a claim it frequently denied.

TikTok, which analytics company Sensor Tower dubbed as one of the most popular apps in India in Q1, was one of 59 apps banned by the Indian government last month, due to rising data privacy and state sovereignty concerns.

Reuters this week reported the app is set to withdraw from Hong Kong due to the imposition of a national security law by China.

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Yanitsa Boyadzhieva

Yanitsa joins Mobile World Live as a Reporter based in London. She has more than 5 years’ experience at various media outlets in her home country Bulgaria. She started her career as a political reporter, followed by taking editor roles...

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