President Donald Trump Jr. has called for tough anti-China regulations on all social media platforms to protect Americans’ private data from falling into the hands of the Chinese government. He says that any solution seeking to address privacy concerns with TikTok should also tackle national security issues posed by other companies who allow their data to flow through China.
Trump Jr. believes that U.S. data privacy laws are not enough and Congress needs to broaden its approach if they want to solve the problem properly. He suggested that no American data should be allowed through China for any social media company, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is pushing a bill sponsored by Chair Michael McCaul which would allow President Joe Biden to ban TikTok from the United States altogether as a solution to national security risks posed by the platform. Sen Mark Warner, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is considering proposing a similar ban but targeting a broader “category of applications” instead of just one app specifically.
Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers commented on this issue saying “these efforts will continue with Tik Tok” and that ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed access for Chinese Communist Party access American user data.” The federal government and several states have passed new laws restricting the use of TikTok on government devices. At the same time, negotiations between CFIUS and the company over a national security agreement remain ongoing.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23rd about these issues in hopes of finding an acceptable compromise between both sides regarding US regulation of its platform and its potential risks to US security interests in mind.
Something must be done about these issues considering how much our personal information can be exposed when it flows through foreign countries with questionable motives or loyalties towards us citizens or our country at large. Hopefully, these talks with Chew will reveal more information about his company’s intentions in the future so we can better understand where we stand as far as being protected from unwanted foreign interference or invasion into our personal lives via technology goes moving forward.