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The Talk About A TikTok Ban

INTRODUCTION 

Recently, there has been recent talks over banning TikTok in America and in other places around the world. Many politicians in America have advocated for a ban on TikTok over cybersecurity concerns and is in cahoots with the Chinese government. TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps to use with over 1.5 billion users. Relations between China and the western world remain tensional as these countries differ in terms of international policy. China has been accused in the past of collecting data information from users to exploit.  

THE SUPPORT FOR A TIKTOK BAN 

Many states in the United States have enacted bans on TikTok on government devices. The push for a TikTok ban has gained bipartisan support in America. The Biden Administration also endorsed the idea of a TikTok ban due to concerns the Chinese government is using the app to spy on Americans. There is also a law in China that states that companies must turn in data that the government demands. Concerns have surfaced over the app collecting biometric data from users like facial recognition and fingerprints. Additionally, TikTok’s parent company ByteDance had employees confess about spreading pro-China messages on the app. TikTok has banned videos that talk about the Uyghur genocide and Tibetan independence. 

THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST A TIKTOK BAN 

While many people argue that a ban on TikTok would help protect citizens against data breaches, there has been little evidence to show that TikTok is giving users’ data to China. However, China has a history of exploiting users’ data. This has caused concern in many of the western countries. However, there are some who oppose the ban on TikTok like cybersecurity experts and a majority of the population. People argue banning the app will have loopholes as users can find many other ways to access the app. Apple and Google audit apps before they are available for download. For some apps banned in China, many people use private networks to get around the government bans. To make a TikTok ban enforceable, the government would have to increase its power in ensuring its goal is achieved. Additionally, a TikTok ban could encourage users to engage in riskier behavior online as they could try to find dangerous ways to access TikTok. Like other social media apps, TikTok has information on user’s data to help provide users with the content they want to watch. While there are some who say that TikTok is implementing algorithms that are designed to spread propaganda, little evidence supports that claim.  

CONCLUSION 

In retrospect, everyone should be careful of how they are using their social media apps. Many of these apps collect data from the user, and users should be aware of the potential security risks. Strengthening data privacy laws and platform governance would help resolve the concern over TikTok’s connections with China. The government should limit data broker’s ability to sell and transfer users’ information to foreign governments. Citizens should be aware of the cybersecurity risks of TikTok and make sure that they are connected to a secure network and should conform to cybersecurity norms. 

SOURCES 

https://www.axios.com/2023/02/07/tiktok-securtiy-concerns-burner-phone

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-64797355

https://www.cisecurity.org/insights/blog/why-tiktok-is-the-latest-security-threat

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/3920214-how-could-a-tiktok-ban-be-enforced/ https://www.gcn.com/cybersecurity/2023/04/banning-tiktok-could-weaken-personal-cybersecurity/385094/

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