Petitions to ban the world-famous interactive platform Tik Tok in the United States are only gaining momentum. Not only in the US but in several countries around the world, Tik Tok is under double scrutiny.
This week (25), Shou Zi Chew, CEO of the app went to the US Congress and attended a four-hour hearing. He was questioned amidst growing calls for the banning of the platform by some very powerful people in the country, out of concern for national security. The ban is coming in masses in the USA, Canada, England, and several European countries.
We can recall in 2020 under Donald Trump's administration when they were almost banned in the country for the same reason, the cyber security risks imposed by TikTok. But after thousands of lawsuits, the issue disappeared and was eventually closed in 2021. But when Trump proposed this ban, tik Tok three years ago had about 800 million downloads. Nowadays, it has more than 3.5 billion downloads, according to Sensor Tower.
The current risks are even greater, not only because of the exposure of users but also because there are millions of influencers who depend on social networks and the app to make a living. And, of course, TikTok itself would take a significant loss if it is not enabled in these countries.
The main claim is that Tick Tok collects excessive data from those who consume it, and this has been proven by researchers from the Australian technology company Internet 2.0, who released a report in July last year proving this argument. But after all the repercussions, the spokesman for tik Tok declared to the BBC that the data collection is not excessive, but is "in line with industry practices.
After the analysis published by Australian researchers, how the app does this was also made public. According to them, tik Tok collects detailed location information about who is using it, for example. It can tell which specific device the user is using, and even which other applications are installed on the device.
But after the first article on this subject was published and the public became aware of it, others began to emerge. A report by the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US itself stated earlier this year that "the key fact here is that most other cell phone and social networking applications do the same things. Another similar test, which was done in Canada by the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto, states that "compared to other popular social networking platforms, TikTok collects similar types of data to track user behaviour."
This Tik Tok war with the United States may even have a political connection. Many claims that the app could be used by the Chinese government to spy on users and even be a brainwashing tool.
One of the questions critics have about TikTok is that the owner of the platform is the multi-billion-dollar technology company Byte Dance, based in China, more precisely in Beijing. In other words, it is one of the only apps that are not American. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, for example, collect similar data, but they are all American companies, founded in the United States.
edited by Palak Chauhan
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