Today the Commerce Department announcer is banning TikTok from us app stores, and if it doesn’t reach a deal to sell to an American company by November 12, will most likely be banned from the country.
So how did we get here and those TikToks privacy concerns magically go away just because it’s owned by an American company.
On August 6, President Trump issued an executive order banning tik tok calling it a national security threat for collecting vast swaths of information from its users, including internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories.
This is true by the way, tik tok actually does collect all this data and it’s millions of American users.
There’s the executive order said that tiktok data collection allowed the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans personal and proprietary information.
This is where things get a little money.
China has two national security laws that require tech companies to cooperate with the country’s investigation.
Which can include turning over data on millions of people collected by their apps.
The Chinese government is no stranger to using surveillance and cyber attacks to oppress people using facial recognition and phone hacks to imprison Uighur Muslims in the largest mass incarceration.
Over a minority population in the world today, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that if China does horrible things with the data that it’s allowed to take from companies and tik tok is a Chinese company.
Then Tik tok is giving the Chinese government all your Your data.
It’s hard to finding proof of that.
a New York Times article from August 7 reported that the CIA looked into security issues with Tik Tok and found that while it was possible it has no evidence of the Chinese government ever doing this.
A cyberscoop interview of Tik Tok’s chief security officer said that China has never requested tic toc for data while the US government has done so on multiple occasions.
He said that Tick Tock is not subjected to China’s data laws because it stores data on servers in the US in Singapore and not in China, where it would be obligated to provide that information.
Multiple security researchers have looked at Tick Tock and reach the same conclusion.
This app takes a lot of data, but we’re not seeing that data being sent to the Chinese government.
And it’s worth pointing out here that if China wanted data on millions of Americans, trust me it doesn’t need Tick Tock for that.
Remember the Equifax hack?
The one where more than half of American adults had their names, birthdays, social security numbers, and addresses stolen?
Yeah, the US government said China’s behind that one, or one Marriott got hacked with 383 million people getting their names, phone numbers, credit card information and passport details stolen.
China or what about the Office of Personnel Management breach for 4.4 million federal workers had?
You get the point.
But even without the flood of cyber attacks, the Chinese government has all that needs to get data on millions of Americans thanks to our wonderfully messed up data economy.
All the data that Tik Tok takes from the data that you’re rightfully concerned about protecting It’s getting taken by hundreds of apps that millions of American use every single day.
You share your location so your weather app can get up to date information on when it’s going to rain.
That weather app then has multiple partnerships with data companies that use your location information for advertising.
Government agencies in the US have straight up just bought his data to track people in investigations.
Sometimes the companies will show off this data and heat maps to brag about their capabilities because, tracking hordes of people is just so cool.
The truth is Google and Facebook’s apps collect just as much personal information off your phones as tik tok does So a U.S buyer of TikTok won’t necessarily eliminate any of the apps current privacy concerns.
Whoever TikTok gets sold to, it will remain a privacy concern just as much.
So if you’re worried about the data that TikTok gets, just remember, keep that same energy when you’re talking about all of your other apps.