More on TikTok ban | What the Tech?

Why is a ban on TikTok happening? | What the Tech?

President Biden signed into law a ban on TikTok in the U.S. unless they can sell to another company. Why is that?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHAT THE TECH?) — President Joe Biden signed into law a ban on TikTok in the U.S. if its parent company doesn’t sell the app’s U.S. operations.

What is happening with TikTok? Why is a ban more likely than ever?

The concern, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is that China could demand parent company ByteDance share user data of people in the U.S. who use it. But some argue that our private information is widely available to anyone who wants it.

Consumer advocate Stephen Kent tells me, it goes a bit deeper than just name, address, and personal preferences.

“Biometric data, ranging from fingerprints to eyes, to voice patterns and speech. And then there’s the backdoors that TikTok provides through its user agreement to all manners of other apps on the phone,” Kent said.

And that’s just what we, as consumers know about. TikTok argues it should be allowed to continue to operate on the grounds of the First Amendment. Kent says that won’t be enough to save it.

“I see this playing out, personally, that a year from now TikTok will not be in operation in the United States. Because Bytedance is not a good-faith profit-driven company. A good faith profit-driven company would find a buyer and cash and sell. But ByteDance is an intelligence-gathering operation and they are not going to sell their intelligence gathering tool to another buyer,” Kent said.

If TikTok is banned, the app won’t immediately disappear from your phone. You won’t be breaking the law. But it won’t be available for new downloads. Eventually, as Apple and Android update their operating system, the app will not work. This story is far from over.

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