The social networking platform, TikTok, has had a series of drawbacks that began to worry the authorities in the United States. In recent times, there have been issues of misinformation, data privacy and child safety concerns. This generated that, from the technology industry, they will begin to show the initiative to have stricter rules. The Asian application has seen unexpected growth and has become an unprecedented global phenomenon in a short period of time.
The report presented by Buzzfeed triggered different bipartisan meetings in the United States for the regulation and investigation of the app. The information provided stated that employees of ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, had access to various data on U.S. users. This situation had a peak of investigation during the month of July. There, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, called this Chinese ‘espionage’ “the greatest long-term threat to our nation’s economic vitality.”
Wray posited that:
“If you are an American adult, chances are China has stolen your personal data.”
This computer war reached a degree of politicization unprecedented in the technological world. The FBI director also espoused, “We’ve gotten to the point where the FBI opens a new China-related counterintelligence case every 10 hours.”
The United States with an eye on China
Although it is a relatively new player in the world of massive social networks, TikTok has attracted attention from European regulators. New regulations on child and general Internet safety in both the UK and the EU have forced the company to be more transparent about how it operates and how content is disseminated on its platform. The Americans have also initiated moves for control of the platform following its recent boost. In any case, there is little debate as to whether the round of regulatory pressure is justified.
The TikTok platform, with some one billion users, uses an algorithmic feed to send users short-format videos. In recent times it has been having a number of problems, including data privacy, a number of misinformation and concerns about the safety of children and teenagers who are users of the Chinese social network.
A report of concern
From the beginning, TikTok has reported that U.S. user data is stored in the data center in Virginia and backed up in Singapore. Last June, the company announced that all the data of people registered on this platform in the United States were routed through servers of the computer giant Oracle.
Recordings of TikTok executives, which were leaked to BuzzFedd News, suggest that employees of China-based ByteDance access user data in the United States. During these meetings, a social network employee reportedly expressed that “everything is seen in China”.