~/Simon's Blog ❯

The TikTok ban is dumb. We need data privacy and protection.

If you've been following the news, it's time to talk about TikTok being banned in the US again!

This time the sentiment is (apparently?) that nobody in the US shall distribute or help distribute TikTok anymore, including maintaining the app on AppStores or letting it be updated there. Whilst that in of itself is of course flawed as you can just get it from an alternative AppStore or the Internet (Yes, even on iPhones in the US to some extent), it doesn't address that the US is fighting a symptom, praising it as the cure.

Let me explain: In the EU, there is the GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation. It allows EU citizens everywhere to access, delete, correct their data, or request a company to stop using it. This is then enforced by local data protection authorities in combination with remote data protection authorities. So for example, in Germany you'd contact local authorities (depending on your state) and the BfDi to put in complaints under the GDPR. You also have many rights, like Article 17 ("the right to be forgotten"), Article 18 ("The right to restriction of processing"), and under Article 12 a company has to reply without undue delay, and within 30 days.

What I'm trying to say here is that it's great stuff. It gives us citizens control over what happens with our data, and is usually enforced harshly (depending on the case). Something like this doesn't exist everywhere in the US. The closest thing you have is the CCPA, but that is only in California.

As the process for banning TikTok is going along, the EFF has called out very similar things about data and privacy in the US in regards to TikTok: Congress Should Give Up on Unconstitutional TikTok Bans

They've been advocating for this and proper Data Privacy Regulation in the US for a while now, because no amount of whack-a-mole with TikTok and other platforms will ever be enough.

TL;DR: The US is fighting Symptoms, but not the cause.

By playing Whack-A-Mole with TikTok and alike they are not treating the cause, but rather a symptom of a lack of data privacy regulation. The US Government cannot keep their citizens safe in this manner, that simply won't work.

Thanks for reading! I wish you a good rest of the day, evening, night, or whatever other time you're reading this!

#privacy #social media #tech #tiktok