Chinese video platform TikTok has taken the world by storm in recent years, and young people in particular have flocked to the app that last year surpassed both Google and Facebook. The most famous domain in the world.
But TikTok has not been without controversy, and last year Ireland’s data protection agency focused on the platform to check if the service complied with European privacy regulations.
The company behind it, ByteDance, is also one in the past Fined in the Netherlands for lack of privacy for children.
A wolf disguised as a lamb
US authorities have also focused on TikTok, with former President Donald Trump in 202 threatening to ban the app in the US.
Now TikTok is back in the spotlight in the United States.
Brendan Carr, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a US executive agency, urged Apple and Google to remove the app from the App Store and Play Store. He refers to TikTok as “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
“TikTok is not just another video app. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. New reports show that it is collecting amounts of sensitive data, which will be available in Beijing. I urge Apple and Google two to remove TikTok from their app stores to remove the app due to a pattern of secret computer practices.” own” writes on twitter.
Carr wrote in the letter sent to Apple and Google that if they do not remove the app, they must make a statement by July 8.
They can’t be forced
The Washington Post writes Neither Carr nor the FCC has the authority to force Apple and Google to ban TikTok, because the FCC does not regulate app stores, but it does show the kind of investigative technology companies they face in the face of regulators.
So far, neither Apple nor Google has commented on the matter. It doesn’t have TikTok either, but on top of The Washington Post, the company says it now routes 100 percent of US app traffic through US servers.
What has emerged here is serious, Tobias Godin, head of the international division of the Data Inspection Service, wrote in an email to DinSide.
One thing is that the data appears to be accessed in China. Another thing is that TikTok has explicitly promised that this would not happen. These discoveries will severely affect our confidence in the company in the future.
He says TikTok has been in the spotlight from European data protection authorities for a long time. In Europe, Ireland’s Data Inspection Authority is responsible for overseeing TikTok, with the company’s main office located in Europe.
The app collects a lot of personal information about many people, including children, and many are concerned about what algorithms are doing with this data. Regarding China’s access to personal information, TikTok assured us that European users’ data will be stored securely in Europe. Now we no longer know if we can trust this.
User data can be purchased
Judin thinks it would be interesting if app stores actually chose to ban TikTok, but at the same time remember that there are also many other apps that don’t have pure flour in the bag.
– For example, there are many US applications that share users’ personal information or sell it on the open market, so if the Chinese authorities want this data, they can simply buy it there.
– It’s not certain that blocking TikTok alone makes users’ data more secure. Godin concludes that we would like the US authorities to introduce stricter US privacy laws as well for US apps.
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