TikTok is the next Chinese product the U.S. could shoot down

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The most severe consequence of the US shooting down a Chinese spy balloon could be getting TikTok banned from your phone.

“A big Chinese balloon in the sky and millions of Chinese TikTok balloons on our phones. Let’s shut them all down,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on twitter, His post has received 1.9 million views.

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“Blow up TikTok now,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. American pilots tweeted after Shot down Balloon.

On the surface, TikTok is nothing more than a short-form video hosting service, known for the clever snippets of life that anyone can post. Its use by prominent figures has helped fuel its spread in the US, and today, by one estimate, TikTok downloaded 210 million times,

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But there is one point on which many Democrats and Republicans agree: TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDunk, could theoretically scoop up vast amounts of user data on Americans and share it with the Communist government in Beijing. This scoping can include more than user data, but also individual activity that is tracked both on and off the app.

This is seen as both a privacy and security issue, says Brandon Pugh, policy director for the cybersecurity and emerging threats team at the R Street Institute. He tells media outlet The Hill, which covers Congress, that TikTok’s vast data collection can be curated and leveraged in certain ways, and used to exploit Americans, in particular ” in sensitive positions or our most vulnerable populations such as children.”

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This is a relevant point, given that the majority of TikTok users – around 60% – are under the age of 30; A third are between the ages of 10 and 19. Three-fifths of all TikTok users are girls or young women, and the average user is in the app for an astonishing 95 minutes a day. Talk about captive audience.

, 28 states have taken steps to ban TikTok from state-owned electronic equipment.,

In the US, 28 states have taken steps to ban TikTok from state-owned electronic equipment, with more likely to follow. Most have cited cyber security concerns over the app’s ties to the Chinese government. a state, Indiana is suing TikTok. “To protect children and counter threats from China.”

Washington lawmakers are taking action, too. This week, Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.) asked the CEOs of Apple AAPL,
and the alphabet GOOGLE,
To remove TikTok from their respective app storeswarned that its “vast influence and aggressive data collection pose a specific threat.”

Other Democrats have TikTok too. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has said he is open to banning TikTok. He is urging the Biden administration to expedite the national security review.

Republicans have gone further, introducing actual legislation. A bill introduced last month by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) directed President Joe Biden to use the International Emergency Economic Rights Act to bar transactions with ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, and punish any entity that tries to evade those sanctions Will give The US director of national intelligence will also be required to report to Congress on potential security threats posed by TikTok, including the use of US user data for “intelligence or military purposes, including surveillance, microtargeting, deepfakes, or blackmail”. including China’s ability to

and the White House? Biden ordered a review of TikTok in June 2021 — that review is not finished after he reversed an executive order issued by former President Donald Trump to ban new downloads of the app in the US; Warner, a Virginia Democrat, is warning the administration against rushing.

For its part, TikTok has resorted to the usual Washington strategy: using lobbyists and public relations firms to make its case. The company has claimed that it does not store user data of Americans in China. Hawley said: “That’s cool. But it all comes with a knock on the door of their parent company based in China from a Communist Party official transferring that data into the hands of the Chinese government.

More: The US is trying to control chip exports to China. Signing up major affiliates has never been easier.

Too EU warns TikTok it will have to comply with new digital rules

Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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