Might TikTok come below US Authorities scrutiny as soon as once more, and face one other potential ban within the area?
As you may recall, final July, then US President Donald Trump pushed for a ban on the app, celebration as a consequence of considerations across the potential use of TikTok knowledge for surveillance functions, as a consequence of implied reference to the Chinese language Authorities, and partly, Trump stated, in retaliation against China for the unfold of COVID-19.
Efforts to ban TikTok had been repeatedly stalled by authorized challenges, earlier than ultimately being abandoned by the brand new US administration – although not with out noting that it might be seeking to re-assess the app, and its data-gathering potential, at some stage.
Right now, the US Authorities announced an enlargement of the Trump administration’s ruling to ban US investments in Chinese language corporations, based mostly on “the threat posed by the military-industrial advanced of the Folks’s Republic of China (PRC)”.
As per the White House:
“President Biden [has] expanded the scope of this nationwide emergency by discovering that using Chinese language surveillance know-how outdoors the PRC, in addition to the event or use of Chinese language surveillance know-how to facilitate repression or severe human rights abuses, represent uncommon and extraordinary threats.“
That may see the US Authorities transferring to limit US funding and dealings with 59 Chinese language-based entities, together with Huawei, China Telecom Company, Greatwall, and extra.
That might open up recent considerations concerning the platform – the principle sticking level being that below China’s cybersecurity law, any Chinese language-owned firm is technically required to produce all consumer info to the CCP, on request, if such a request is submitted. We’ve no perception, in fact, as as to if any such request has ever, or will ever be put to TikTok or ByteDance, however the firm has repeatedly reassured users that their knowledge is secure, and that TikTok consumer info is saved outdoors of China and never accessible by the CCP.
However the concern stays, and with TikTok seemingly transferring to assemble up extra consumer insights, and the US Authorities scrutinizing related components, it looks as if the 2 might be transferring in the direction of one other conflict.
However then once more, “biometric identifiers and biometric info” are literally gathered by different social apps too. YouTube, seemingly, collects similar data, and Fb has confronted authorized challenges prior to now over its biometric data harvesting. So whereas it sounds unhealthy, notably given TikTok’s potential CCP linkage, it is probably not as important an replace because it appears, up-front.
However it should doubtless be sufficient to get a couple of extra Congress-folk trying its means as soon as once more, and if tensions proceed to escalate between China and the US, with China more likely to reply, in a roundabout way, to this newest spherical of restrictions, that would put TikTok below the highlight as soon as once more.
Which may spark new discussions a few potential ban, or a potential sell-off, with Oracle and Microsoft possibly as soon as once more placing forth their bids.
It is nonetheless too early to foretell the place any such actions would possibly lead, however it’s value monitoring the scenario, and the potential impacts for the world’s fastest-growing social app.