Governments across the globe, particularly in the US, Europe, and Canada have voiced their apprehensions about TikTok, a Chinese-owned social media app. Many people are wary of the potential security breach & misuse of personal data when using this app. There’s also a fear that the content suggested by the app could be used to spread false or biased information as well.
TikTok banned in multiple countries
In 2020, India prohibited the use of TikTok and 58 other Chinese applications for supposedly transferring user information to foreign databases. Numerous American states have since barred TikTok from official devices & many universities cut off access to the app on their Wi-Fi networks.
US Congress and the Biden administration on TikTok
In a recent development, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to pass a bill that would give the president authority to completely remove TikTok from the United States. The Biden administration is currently evaluating TikTok’s standing. For quite some time, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has been in talks with them to address queries related to the app’s link to China and how they manage user data.
The Legality of Government Bans on Apps
While governments and universities have the authority to implement bans on certain apps, such as TikTok, it remains to be seen whether a government-imposed ban on an app that allows individuals to express themselves creatively would hold up in court. Such a ban could face legal challenges based on First Amendment grounds, which protect individuals’ freedom of expression.
TikTok has strongly denounced politicians for attempting to suppress free speech in the country and labeled these measures as “political showmanship”. In order to increase its chances of success, the company has taken the initiative to reach out to various high-profile institutions such as think tanks, public interest groups, and lawmakers. It wants to spread awareness about the plan it has submitted for governmental approval.
Security and Privacy concerns
Despite the fact that all social media networks collect user data, people are especially worried about the Chinese ownership of TikTok and the potential security & privacy concerns that may come with it. This is why regulators and lawmakers have raised multiple flags about this issue.