TikTok Under Scrutiny Again

TikTok Under Scrutiny AgainTikTok is back under scrutiny from cybersecurity professionals and many world governments for the third time in two years. The social media platform rocketed to popularity during the pandemic but has slowly lost market share, falling below Instagram again last year. The latest security concerns and response by government legislation may be the final blow to the Chinese-owned social media platform trying to stay relevant in the US market.

The latest government bans on TikTok include New Zealand, Britain, the European Union, Belgium, and Canada. These countries have banned the app on government-owned devices or devices that can access government databases. The US voted to remove the app from all government-owned devices in December, but a deadline was finally set for March 20th for all removal to be done. Over half of State governments followed suit and banned the app from state government devices. Both the FBI and FCC have warned that the owner of the social media platform, ByteDance, could share data with the Chinese government. India banned the app in the summer of 2020, the first time the issue came up, which instantly knocked 200 million users off the platform.

World governments have concerns over the app for government employees and citizens. The first is sensitive data could be accessed on government devices and shared with the Chinese government. The second is location information. The US military was the first group to ban the app in January 2020, and location sharing played a part in that ban. There are also concerns over intelligence gathering of user preferences and demographic that could be used for misinformation campaigns in the future on citizen populations.

The current bill that could ban the app for US citizens names TikTok specifically, but it includes “…information and communications technology product or service.” from six adversarial nations: China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela.

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Posted by Charles Wright