US Lawmakers Call for Full Ban of TikTok Due to Data Tracking Concerns
TikTok is facing another legal challenge in the US, with the Republican senator Marco Rubio is introducing bipartisan legislation to ban the app from operating in the US, largely due to concerns about data collection and TikTok’s connection to the Chinese government.
As per Rubio:
“It’s not about creative videos – it’s about an app that collects data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it is used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on pointless negotiations with a CCP puppet company. It’s time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok forever.”
The bill calls for TikTok to be completely cut off in the US, to prevent data with ‘America’s foremost adversary‘, with TikTok possibly acting as a surveillance device for Chinese spies.
It is the latest in a long-running series of legal challenges to the app, which at one time was almost completely banned in the US under the leadership of former President Donald Trump.
The ban was based on the same concerns, that the Chinese-owned app could potentially track information about US users and share it with the CCP, while there were also suggestions of algorithmic manipulation to elicit pro-China sentiment while also suppressing it. . the opposite.
This isn’t even the first major legal challenge to the app in the US this month.
Last week, the state of Indiana filed a lawsuit which accused both TikTok and parent company ByteDance of doing so violating the state’s consumer protection laws, and particularly failing to protect young people, while FBI Director Chris Wray, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and Republican Senator Josh Hawley have all expressed concern over the app’s connections to the CCP in recent weeks.
And now, the House of Representatives will once again be asked to review the app and decide whether it should indeed be banned in the US.
This is clearly not new territory for TikTok, but it remains a significant threat, arguably the biggest potential challenge to its social media dominance — although recent numbers also suggest that TikTok’s download momentum has been slowing lately.
Which is, of course, an aside to the issue at hand, which could get TikTok banned in the US, where it currently has over 111 million active users, according to data.ai.
Will it happen? And if so, how will it change the social media landscape in the US?
Will users instead switch to Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, as in India, where TikTok has been banned since 2020, or could this mark the end of the short-form video trend and usher in the next phase of digital connectivity?
At this point, it still feels more likely that TikTok will stick around, but the tide can turn very quickly. One misstep in US-China relations could see the app’s favorability wane very quickly, and while it works to better demonstrate its independence from its Chinese owners, especially with regard to US user data, there’s certainly a chance it could little will be too late to avoid a ban.
Such processes take time, and we are unlikely to have an answer anytime soon.
We will keep you informed of any progress.