TikTok Rejected Pakistan’s Sole Request for User Information

TikTok, one of the fastest growing social media platforms, is rapidly getting popularity in Pakistan. Recently, the video sharing app released its first transparency report revealing that the company has strict rules when it comes to sharing user information. The report reveals that TikTok received 298 legal requests for information from 28 countries including Pakistan, the US, India, and Japan.

Pakistan’s sole request for user information to the Chinese owned TikTok in 2019 was not complied with, it was revealed in the first Transparency Report released by the company recently.

In the first half of the year, the US, India, and Japan topped the list. Between January 1, 2019, and June 30, 2019, the US made 79 such requests; 86 percent of them were accepted despite the recent trade war between the two countries. From India, where the video sharing app is one of the most popular social media apps, it received 107 requests for user data and 11 requests for content takedowns, of which 47 per cent were complied.

It is pertinent to mention that there was no request from China as it does not operate in the country. “TikTok is committed to assisting law enforcement in appropriate circumstances while at the same time respecting the privacy and rights of our users,” said Public Policy chief Eric Ebenstein.

India, where the app has huge popularity made 107 requests for user data and 11 requests for content take downs, of which only 47 percent had been complied with. Nine countries, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, UK and the US forwarded 26 requests to remove or restrict content, of which only eight were accepted. It received 3,345 complaints for copyrights violation and considered 85 per cent of the requests valid.

Headlines About TikTok:

In Pakistan, TikTok has been in the headlines recently over a variety of reasons. Hareem Shah and Sandal Khattak’s videos with senior politicians have put the app on the map. A Sialkot boy’s death while making a TikTok video also made the headlines. However, it is surprising that despite TikTok being one of the most popular social media apps among Pakistani youth, local authorities made just a single request, and even that was rejected.

Most downloaded social media app

With 18.5 million downloads, TikTok was the most downloaded social media app in Pakistan in 2019, followed by Facebook with 17.6 million downloads, according to the latest figures shared by US-based market intelligence firm Sensor Tower. Compiled by Mobile Insights Strategist Craig Chapple, the data shows that TikTok surpassed 1.5 billion downloads globally on the App Store and Google Play as it continues to be one of the world’s most popular apps.

Speaking about their first transparency policy, TikTok’s Public Policy chief Eric Ebenstein said:

TikTok is committed to assisting law enforcement in appropriate circumstances while at the same time respecting the privacy and rights of our users.

He said that nine countries, including Australia, France, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, UK, and the US made 26 requests for removal or of content, but only eight were accepted.

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