Full details on The reason behind the Ban on TikTok

With TikTok and its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance, the US has had a tumultuous relationship.

US president Donald Trump suggested that ByteDance sell a portion of its business to Microsoft in 2020. It was assumed that TikTok would pose less of a security risk to the US and other nations if an American corporation owned it.

The US Congress decided to outlaw TikTok on all devices used by the federal government by the end of last year. The White House mandated on Monday that the app be taken down within 30 days for all federal employees. A day later, the European Parliament encouraged members to remove the software from their personal devices as well as official devices belonging to all three of its institutions.

Immediately after that choice, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau endorsed the Chief Information Officer of Canada’s directive that TikTok be removed from all government-issued devices. More than half of the US states have likewise prohibited TikTok from being used on state-issued government devices entirely or in part. The governors of certain states are willing to suggest banning the app nationally. The usage of the software on university networks has also been prohibited by some public, state-funded universities. Here is why all of those restrictions are in place.

Which nations have outlawed TikTok on government-issued devices?

These are the nations that have outlawed TikTok because they consider it to be a danger to national security. Several nations have long already outlawed the app, with their justification for doing so being to protect their population from improper content.

  • Taiwan.
  • The United States and more than half of its state governments.
  • Canada and its provinces.
  • The European Union’s governing bodies.
  • Belgium.
  • Denmark.
  • New Zealand.
  • The United Kingdom.

Why have certain governments outlawed TikTok?

Security issues have been raised by every government organisation that has prohibited TikTok from devices. TikTok has the ability to gather a lot of user-provided personal data. The following information can and will be gathered by TikTok when you establish an account, upload content, or engage with the platform in any other way, according to the app’s privacy statement:

  • Any profile and account information (name, age, username, phone number, profile image, email, and password).
  • Content created by users and posted on the app (audio recording, photos, comments, and videos).
  • Direct communication.
  • Any information used to make an app-based purchase (card numbers, names, information from third-party payment apps, billing, and shipping address).

You can avoid some of TikTok’s data collection practises by doing things like denying the app access to your contacts. Yet, a large portion of TikTok’s data collection is automatic and cannot be disabled by the user. You must, for instance, share:

  • The details of your device (IP address, mobile carrier, and network type).
  • Your address.
  • Cookies.
  • Device information (describes how, when, and where your user-generated content was created).

Several countries worry that if opponents obtain user data, there might be serious issues. Government officials who have access to sensitive and classified material may want to avoid disclosing their personal information, which is why the federal government is enforcing its gadget ban.

The restriction is a preventative step, according to Mona Fortier, head of Canada’s Finance Board, who spoke to the BBC.

“TikTok’s data collection methods on a mobile device allow significant access to the contents of the phone,” she claimed. Although there are risks associated with utilising this programme, there is currently no proof that sensitive government data has been compromised.

The European Commission claimed that by banning the app, it would prevent any possibility of a cybersecurity attack using member data against them.

ALSO READ: 8 Ways To Know Whether Police Have Tapped Your Phone

According to Chris DeRusha, the federal government’s chief information security officer, the prohibition is a step in the government’s commitment to “securing our digital infrastructure and preserving the security and privacy of the American people.”

What is TikTok’s opinion on the matter?

TikTok has said that each official ban is unfair, unjustified, and enacted without proof that the app poses a security risk.

A TikTok representative told the BBC that the app’s prohibition prevents Canadian officials from reaching citizens on a public platform after the Canadian government’s ban. The company is disappointed with the Canadian government’s decision, the representative claimed, adding that no one from the Canadian government met with them to negotiate a compromise.

TikTok responded to the European prohibition with a similar negative tone. Denying people access to public figures is a “self-defeating step,” the business claimed.

TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said the US’s move to ban the app without consulting the firm prompted its allies to take similar action after the US announced its ban on the service. She expressed disappointment on behalf of the corporation over the US decision.

After the U.K. government’s ban, TikTok is still certain that the government’s decisions are driven by geopolitical considerations and that the app does not pose any major security risks.

More recently, the Biden administration has warned Chinese TikTok investors to sell their shares or risk having the app completely banned in the United States. Threats made recently resemble those made in 2020 by the late President Trump. Yet, the former president was unable to enact the statewide ban because US courts rejected the proposal.

The current president might also suffer a similar outcome. As the administration hasn’t yet determined what national security dangers the app poses, the White House will probably have to overcome a number of legal and political obstacles before it can prohibit TikTok from all American devices. But this time, there are numerous US lawmakers who have suggested legislation, backed by the White House, to outlaw any foreign-developed technology if it poses a threat to the country’s security.

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Teacher, Blogger, Comic writer, riveting stories concerning the Ghanaian citizenry and the world at large.

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