Americans are Better Off Without TikTok But Banning It is Bad Policy — This is going to be BIG

From questions like: “Does TikTok access my home Wi-Fi network?” to Dan Crenshaw’s mistaken line of questioning that he assumed TikTok’s CEO was Chinese (he’s from Singapore), the hearings highlight the fact that our representatives are ill-equipped to create sensible technology policy, because they don’t understand how it works, or they don’t care because they will legislate the technology to their political goals.

This is a bad process that could have a positive outcome, but we should not support bad processes.

Of course, we’ve come to understand how damaging the effects of social media can be on Americans, from its effects on self-esteem to how it isolates and divides us, and I’ll be the first to admit that my chef reaction time on TikTok would be better spent reading a book, talking to my wife, playing with my daughter or calling a family member.

This makes it very tempting for me to think about American life without TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, just as I sometimes ask my wife to get me a bag of pretzels that I’m clearly about to finish. . own

These well-documented harms are not why politicians seek to ban the platform. The concern, at least the stated one anyway, is a national security concern about what the Chinese government is doing with the Chinese platform’s data and how it might be influencing the content Americans see.

This is a very legitimate concern, and I strongly believe that Americans should be protected from state-sanctioned propaganda and exploitation of our data, whether from the Chinese government to TikTok, Russian hackers who they try to influence our elections on Facebook and Twitter, or America’s conservative media and politicians lie about election results.

Before we go down the rabbit hole of levels of government misbehavior: China’s treatment of the Uyghur population in Xinjiang, or the fact that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, but we have almost 25 percent of the world population. total prison population: We can all agree that people everywhere should be protected from crappy governments and bad actors of all kinds.

You can’t call out Chinese government censorship, but agree with Florida’s book ban.

Historically, we have taken the position that participation in the global economy is better for the spread of human rights. On the one hand, proponents of free trade argue that it has promoted economic development and lifted millions of people out of poverty, which in turn can lead to better human rights outcomes and improved living standards.

On the other hand, multinational companies have engaged in exploitative labor practices in countries with weaker labor laws. Some countries, including China, have been accused of prioritizing economic growth over human rights, which can lead to labor rights violations, environmental degradation and other problems.

Even if we have achieved a variety of results in this regard, I do not believe that isolationism is the right path for the future of technology. We already have a pretty fractured internet and I don’t want it to get worse, with the citizens of each country only seeing what their government wants them to see.

This is already a big problem in China and we are about to go down that path here.

Not only that, it’s a slippery slope when you can spend billions of dollars building a huge company only to have the government come in and shut it all down depending on the prevailing political winds.

Venezuela a lot?

We don’t necessarily want that to happen to our companies overseas, do we?

We need to find a consistent and fair playing field that takes into account the rights and safety of the end consumer – a set of rules that TikTok should follow that protect our data and create transparency about where content comes from, but also that Facebook, Twitter and Google should play it too.

We didn’t even come close to considering shutting down Facebook when Cambridge Analytica collected the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent. They collected the data from more than 80 million Facebook profiles and used the data to provide analytical assistance to the 2016 presidential campaigns of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Although the company received a large fine, Facebook’s business continues pretty much as normal.

Meanwhile, there are no specific allegations of data misuse by TikTok, and yet here we are on the verge of a nationwide ban.

It seems to me that the same politicians who decry the “shadow ban” and suppression of clear misinformation are the same ones who want to remove an entire platform because “we don’t like China”.

China presents many complicated questions. They have a much larger population than ours and are increasing their sphere of influence, especially in places like Africa. They are a global superpower with a checkered human rights record that we will simply have to play ball with in complex and nuanced ways, unless we want to be relegated to being a minor player on the world stage or go all-out. war with them

Neither of these seem like popular options among reasonable people, but by trying to answer China’s question here and now on the subject of TikTok, we’re sidestepping the fundamental question about technology regulation, which is arguably just as complex.

The government’s first priority should be to shine a light on consumers – helping them understand who is behind what they see from both a content creation and algorithmic perspective, and putting some controls on usage of your data.

Second, if we want to take consumer data protection seriously, we should take laws like the GDPR and the CCPA in California more seriously. It’s hypocritical to say you want to protect citizens from China’s data collection without having to get hold of a data collection policy bill that not only protects users from China, but Russia as well and of the US itself and US corporations.

I mean, it’s better if they point to a social platform with an outrage-inducing viral video that Fox News is behind to generate ratings for their fear-mongering television network that it wouldn’t if the same video were released for China? The result would be the same: a fractured population.

Not sure if it really matters who fired the proverbial shot, talking about inconsistent applications of the law to “protect Americans”.

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The recent campaign in the United States to ban the popular app TikTok has raised serious questions about whether banning the app is appropriate strategy and whether Americans are better off without it. TikTok, formerly known as, has become one of the largest social media platforms in the world, surpassing one billion users as of April 2020. But as the app’s popularity and reach continue to grow, so too do calls to ban it from the US due to concerns over its Chinese roots and data-collecting behaviors.

A ban of TikTok would be shortsighted policy for the United States. The app has provided a powerful platform for creativity and expression to many of its users. From comedians making viral videos to activists galvanizing support, TikTok presents unique opportunities to extend online reach that no other social media platform provides. Moreover, a ban ignores the potential security risks of other popular apps, like Facebook and Instagram, who are both US-based yet have also come under scrutiny.

At Ikaroa, we understand that security risks must be taken seriously, and we believe that the US must take measures to protect its citizens’ data no matter where it is being collected. That is why Ikaroa empowers companies and organizations to incorporate best practices for protecting the data of their users through our suite of identity and access management solutions. We believe this is the key to ensuring data is securely managed across countries, and thereby facilitating safe, secure, and cross-country access to digital services and resources.

Therefore, while Americans may be better off without a TikTok app and its associated risks, a ban is not a positive policy solution and therefore is ill-advised. Instead, the US should focus on embracing policies that ensure safety and security for all apps, regardless of their country of origin. At Ikaroa, we believe that security, trust, and user privacy must be of utmost importance in any digital platform that crosses international borders. We must remain vigilant in the fight against data security risks, and our solutions are here to support that mission.


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