This week, the Home Vitality and Commerce Committee will maintain a full committee hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Chew to debate how the platform handles customers’ information, its impact on children, and its relationship with ByteDance, its Chinese language mum or dad firm.
This listening to is a part of an ongoing investigation to find out whether or not TikTok needs to be banned in america or compelled to separate from ByteDance.
A ban on TikTok would have an effect on over 150 million Individuals who use TikTok for training, leisure, and earnings technology.
It might additionally have an effect on the 5 million U.S. companies utilizing TikTok to achieve clients.
Is TikTok The Solely Danger To Nationwide Safety?
Based on a memo launched by the Tech Oversight Undertaking, TikTok isn’t the one tech platform that poses dangers to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and youngsters.
As Congress scrutinizes TikTok, the Tech Oversight Undertaking additionally strongly urges an investigation of dangers posed by tech firms like Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Google.
These platforms have a documented historical past of serving content material dangerous to youthful audiences and adversarial to U.S. pursuits. They’ve additionally failed on many events to guard customers’ non-public information.
Many Large Tech firms have seen TikTok’s success and tried to emulate a few of its options to encourage customers to spend as a lot time inside their platforms’ ecosystems as doable. Teachers, activists, non-governmental organizations, and others have lengthy raised issues about these platforms’ dangers.
To actually cut back Large Rech’s dangers to our society, Congress should look past TikTok and maintain different firms accountable for a similar risks they pose to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and personal information.
Dangers Posed By Large Tech Firms
The next are examples of the dangers Large Tech firms pose to U.S. customers.
Amazon has made a number of controversial strikes, together with a partnership with a state propaganda company to launch a China books portal and providing AWS companies to Chinese language firms, together with a banned surveillance agency with ties to the army.
Unbiased research discovered that Apple collects detailed details about its customers, even when customers select to not enable monitoring by apps from the App Retailer. Over half of the highest 200 suppliers for Apple function factories in China.
The FTC fined Google and YouTube $170 million for accumulating youngsters’s information with out parental consent. YouTube additionally modified its algorithm to make it extra addictive, rising customers’ time watching movies and consuming advertisements.
Fb allowed Cambridge Analytica to reap the non-public information of over 50 million customers. It additionally did not notify over 530 million customers of a knowledge breach that resulted in customers’ non-public information being stolen.
It additionally allowed Russian interference within the 2016 elections. The affect operation posed as an unbiased information group with 13 accounts and two pages, pushing messages vital of right-wing voices and the center-left.
TikTok workers confirmed that its Chinese language mum or dad firm, ByteDance, is concerned in decision-making and has entry to TikTok’s person information. Whereas testifying earlier than the Senate Homeland Safety Committee, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO, would not confirm whether or not ByteDance would give TikTok person information to the Chinese language authorities.
Whereas the risks posed by TikTok are simple, it’s clear that Congress must also handle the dangers posed all through the tech trade. By holding all main offenders accountable, we are able to create a secure, safe, and accountable digital panorama for everybody.
Featured Picture: Koshiro Ok/Shutterstock