Politicians in the US and abroad have accused TikTok, the short-form video app owned by the Chinese business ByteDance, of being a propaganda tool and a security risk during discussions about its possible ban. Under the Trump administration and President Biden’s administration in the US, there have been repeated but unsuccessful attempts to force a sale of TikTok.
In the meanwhile, a number of TikTok bans around the US have prohibited the app from being used on university-affiliated hardware as well as state, local, and federal government hardware.
Politicians have continued to bring up the possibility of trying to completely outlaw TikTok, even though some experts claim there isn’t any proof the app has caused any more harm or endangered user privacy than what we’ve seen from firms like Facebook or Google. It doesn’t seem like the legislative session in March, where members questioned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, did much to improve the situation.
For the most recent information on a potential TikTok ban in the US, keep reading.
The US government has attempted to outlaw TikTok for almost three years.
Republicans and Democrats have formed alliances around worries over the app’s purported threats to national security, which have spanned two presidential administrations. TikTok and its Chinese parent firm, ByteDance, have come to the forefront of anti-China policy during a time of heightened partisanship, serving as a handy adversary that most lawmakers are willing to take on.
why nations are attempting to outlaw TikTok
The Chinese business ByteDance’s TikTok, which has raised concerns from governments, may be putting private user information at risk.
TikTok, the hugely popular short-form video app owned by the Chinese business ByteDance, has come under increased pressure from lawmakers in the US, Europe, and Canada in recent months due to security concerns.
On February 27, the White House gave federal agencies 30 days to remove the software from government-owned smartphones. An increasing number of other nations and government entities have also recently prohibited the software from being used on official devices, including Canada, the executive branch of the European Union, France, and the Parliament of New Zealand. Australia was the most recent nation to announce on April 4 that it will ban the TikTok app from being used on official devices, after recommendations from intelligence and security organizations.
On March 1, a House committee approved legislation that would have given President Biden the power to outlaw TikTok across the country from all devices, which was an even more drastic measure. On March 23, during a five-hour hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Chew, was probed regarding the app’s connection to its parent firm and China’s potential influence over the platform.
Here’s why TikTok, which claims that more than 100 million Americans use it, is under increased pressure.
Has TikTok been outlawed in any nations?
ByteDance lost one of its main markets when India banned the platform in the middle of 2020 after cracking down on 59 Chinese-owned applications for allegedly sending user data covertly to servers outside of India.
Is Congress attempting to outlaw TikTok?
Some members are interested. A bill that would have given the president the power to outright forbid the platform was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee in early March. (Previous attempts by the Trump administration to accomplish this were blocked by the courts.)
Josh Hawley, a Republican senator from Missouri, worked to get a law that forbade TikTok on all federally-issued devices passed in December as part of a funding agreement. He then submitted a bill in January to extend the prohibition to all Americans. A different, bipartisan bill that was submitted in December sought to outlaw TikTok as well as any other comparable social media firms operating in nations like Iran and Russia.
Lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban TikTok in the USA pic.twitter.com/MU1xMhDKYL
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) December 13, 2022
What is the Biden administration doing?
The Biden administration wants TikTok’s Chinese ownership to sell the app or risk being banned, the company recently said. Although the White House recently mentioned an ongoing assessment in response to inquiries about TikTok, the administration has mainly remained silent. TikTok has been in secret discussions with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, for years in order to address concerns regarding TikTok and ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese government and the handling of user data.
According to TikTok, it submitted a 90-page proposal in August outlining its plans to operate in the US while taking national security issues into account. A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce stated on March 23 that China would “firmly oppose” the sale of the app.
According to TikTok, it submitted a 90-page proposal in August outlining its plans to operate in the US while taking national security issues into account. A spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce stated on March 23 that China will “firmly oppose” the sale of the app.
According to three persons with knowledge of the situation, the Justice Department is also looking into TikTok’s surveillance of American journalists. In December, ByteDance revealed that some of its staff members had improperly gotten the data of two American TikTok users who were journalists and a couple of their friends.
What can I do right now if I use TikTok to safeguard my data?
You can use the same precautions you do to safeguard your privacy on other social networking sites to safeguard it on TikTok. This includes denying apps access to your contacts or location.
TikTok videos can also be seen without creating an account.
How are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter’s privacy and security issues different from those of TikTok?
The biggest problem appears to be Chinese ownership.
The platform’s detractors have noted that all social media networks participate in rife data collecting of its users.
A nonprofit digital rights organization called Fight for the Future recently launched the #DontBanTikTok campaign in an effort to divert politicians’ focus away from TikTok and toward the development of data and privacy regulations that would include all Big Tech corporations.
The majority of privacy experts agree that TikTok gathers a lot of data, but they also note that this amount is comparable to that of other applications, according to Robyn Caplan, a senior researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute.
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