There’s a storm building for TikTok in the US, with politicians and tech/media bosses seemingly now queuing up to attack the app over data, privacy and its links to China. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of media group Axel Springer, was the latest to call for a ban of TikTok (“in any democracy”) at influential tech conference Code this week.
There’s an interesting and very spirited counterpoint to this debate from Techdirt which is worth a read too, however.
“Banning TikTok would be akin to trying to stop a river with a wink,” it suggested. “As we’ve noted several times, you could ban TikTok tomorrow with a giant patriotic hammer and the Chinese government could nab all the same U.S. consumer data from just an absolute parade of companies and dodgy data brokers. And they can do that because U.S. privacy and security standards have been a trash fire for decades, especially when it comes to things like sensitive user location data. And they’ve been a trash fire for decades because most of the same folks crying about TikTok prioritized making money over consumer privacy standards…”
The piece isn’t a defence of TikTok, as such, but rather a pointer to those bigger problems.