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Why Are US Lawmakers Trying to Ban China’s Hugely Popular TikTok App?

ByteDance’s TikTok has made short-form video a social media phenomenon, making Twitter’s decision to discontinue Vine a few years ago look rather foolish. Some security experts and political leaders are alarmed by the skyrocketing popularity of TikTok. As a Chinese company, all of its data is accessible to the Chinese government. There have been increasing calls to ban the app, and now a bipartisan group of US Congressmembers has introduced a bill to do so.

“Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act” is a monstrously long title for the bill. If you’re short on time, “ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act” is the acronym for all of this. Handy. If enacted, the Act would prohibit all transactions with social media companies headquartered in, controlled by, or influenced by a “country of concern.” The bill mentions TikTok and ByteDance specifically, but it could eventually apply to other social platforms.

TikTok asserts that it does nothing improper, but we know that mobile apps collect massive amounts of user data. As the popularity of TikTok has increased, regulators in the United States have become concerned about what happens to all this data, given that large companies in China cannot keep information secret from the government. The Chinese intelligence apparatus could therefore collect detailed information on millions of American citizens via the TikTok app.

ByteDance claims it does not transmit data from the United States to China, but it has been discovered doing so on multiple occasions. Politicians in the United States have begun to consider the purported privacy implications. South Dakota, Texas, South Carolina, and Maryland have all banned TikTok from smartphones owned by their respective states; now, federal legislators are taking action.

“This is not about creative videos; this is about an app that collects data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day,” Senator Rubio, one of the Republicans supporting the bill, said in a press release. He is joined by the Republican Representative from Wisconsin, Mike Gallagher, and the Democrat from Illinois, Raja Krishnamoorthi.

Notable is the bipartisan nature of the legislation, as the majority of state-level bans to date have been enacted by Republican-led governments that frequently display hostility toward China. If Democrats begin to view TikTok as a threat to security and privacy as well, a law like this could pass, as this would be one of the few areas of agreement between the two parties.

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The above article was written by the BestTopReviewsOnline team, which consists of some of the most knowledgeable technical experts in the United States. Our team consists of highly regarded writers with vast experience in smartphones, computer components, technology apps, security, and photography, among other fields.

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