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Why the U.S. is considering TikTok Ban

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Privacy concerns were cited as the primary reason for the US government's intensions to ban TikTok, anextremely popular short-video social network, in the USA. On July 7, Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, warned Americans that it puts “your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Not that this speculation is absolutely groundless: it appeared that TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based tech company, gathers plenty of info on each user, including those from the US. Along with the title and length of every TikTok video watched, the app gets hold of the full contents of private messages sent through it.

In its U.S. privacy policy TikTok says it gathers each user's Internet address, country location, and the type of the device used. If the user gives permission, the app also records his or her age and phone number, the exact location, the phone’s contacts, as well as other social network connections.

That all adds up to a user's profile, which can be used not only to better target ads, but also to clearly understand who the user is, what he or she likes, who is the user's friends and family are, what the user finds funny, etc. Such a profile allows to identify a particular person.

Due to security concerns, US Army and Navy have already banned their service members from downloading this applications to government-issued phones. Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives voted to ban use of TikTok on all government-issued phones.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently told reporters that the US government has been conducting a national security review of TikTok in order to formulate policy recommendations to Trump.

The USA is not alone: last month, India banned TikTok together with several other apps due to privacy concerns; Australia is considering doing the same.

All in all, making everyone to delete TikTok out of caution isn’t a simple task: this app has been downloaded more than 2 billion times. 623 million users downloaded it during the first half of 2020, to mitigate boredom of the lockdown due to the notorious COVID-19 pandemic.

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Home>World news>Why the U.S. is considering TikTok Ban
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