TikTok's data sharing raises questions, calls for its banning | WARC | The Feed
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TikTok's data sharing raises questions, calls for its banning
TikTok, the video sharing platform, is hugely popular with users and increasingly popular with brands, but serious questions are being raised about the safety of user data, with some US officials calling for the app to be banned.
Why it matters
Pressure is growing on the platform, but it's coming from official quarters rather than from those using the service. And it comes just as TikTok grows into a critical piece of communications infrastructure used not only for entertainment but increasingly for search.
Should geopolitical tensions lead to bans, TikTok will find itself in a very difficult situation.
European user data begins crossing borders
Ultimately, the app is claiming it's fair use and by explaining the change, it appears not to fall foul of European data protection laws. But there are legitimate security concerns, according to experts speaking to the Guardian.
Calls for an outright ban in US
One leading member of the Federal Communications Commission in the US has called for the government to ban the app, in an interview with Axios. “I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” commissioner Brendan Carr told the website.
This is against a backdrop of ongoing negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. It has been looking into a transfer of the app’s American business to a US company, in effect ensuring that user data doesn’t flow back to China.
TikTok, meanwhile, said that a call for a ban falls outside Carr’s purview and that it's confident a deal to safeguard American data can be reached.
Data’s proliferation enters the spotlight
The stories come at a time of increasing interest in user data from platforms, retailers, advertising companies, and intermediaries. As the sheer quantity of sensitive user data balloons, companies are dashing to build up databases of first-party data.
Retail Dive goes in-depth on the emerging state-level efforts in the US to protect user privacy amid concerns from users that they're unable to protect their data effectively.
Sourced from The Guardian, Axios, Retail Dive, WARC
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