TikTok Ban?


TikTok app on a phone

Beverley Kirkwood, Reporter

The Biden administration, nearly two years after the Trump administration threatened to ban TikTok is now doing the same.

What are the concerns with TikTok?

Many have expressed their concerns with policies regarding user-privacy, claiming that the app could be linked with the Chinese government. The primary concerns include China being able to access data and essentially spy on users. There is an underlying concern that any company doing business in China falls under Chinese communist party laws.

“The Chinese government has actually never asked us for US user data,” Chew said, “-and we’ve said this on the record, that even if we where asked for that, we will not provide that.” Chew added that “all US user data is stored, by default, in the Oracle Cloud infrastructure” and “access to that data is completely controlled by US personnel.” -CNN Business

What is the solution?

“The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, US-based protection of US user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.” TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan said in a statement.

Is TikTok really a threat to national security?

TikTok does not operate in China, however its parent company ByteDance does. The risk is that the Chinese government may gain leverage over TikTok or its parent company. Companies under China have to abide by national security laws that include a variety of security activities. The crux of the issue lies is that there is no way of clarifying whether those policies are being followed through with or not. TikTok is not much different than other social media platforms in terms of data collected, or communication with company servers. There is still a lot of personal information being collected, however it does not imply that there is any spyware being used.

What the Biden administration is primarily focusing on the relationship between TikTok and its parent company ByteDance. This also explains why the Biden administration is pushing for TikTok Chinese owners to sell their shares.

TikTok ban explained: What you need to know about the US government threat to ban the app | CNN Business