A bi-partisan group of US senators introduced a bill to regulate TikTok and other technology products viewed as threats to national security.
TikTok, the popular video-sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance, has been facing scrutiny and controversy in the United States over its data security practices. On March 7, 2023, a group of bi-partisan senators introduced a bill that would authorize the Commerce Secretary to regulate technology products viewed as national security threats, with a particular focus on TikTok.
What the Bill Entails
The bill proposes that the Commerce Secretary has the power to block technology products and services that are developed, operated, or owned by foreign governments, particularly those from China. The bill aims to protect the personal data of US citizens and limit potential foreign government influence in US technology products.
The bill also proposes that the Commerce Secretary may require technology companies to provide information about their ownership, control, and governance, as well as the source code and algorithms used to develop their products.
The senators stated that the bill aims to provide transparency and accountability for technology products and services that may pose a threat to US national security, while also protecting the privacy and security of US citizens.
Controversy Surrounding TikTok
TikTok has faced criticism from US lawmakers over concerns that the app could be used to collect data on US citizens and potentially share it with the Chinese government. In response, TikTok has repeatedly stated that it operates independently of its Chinese parent company and stores user data in the US.
TikTok has also taken steps to address these concerns, such as appointing a US-based CEO and establishing a transparency center in the US to allow external experts to review its data security practices.
However, the controversy surrounding TikTok and its potential security risks has led to increased scrutiny from US lawmakers and regulatory bodies.
The introduction of this bill shows that US lawmakers are taking the potential security risks posed by foreign technology products seriously. While TikTok has taken steps to address concerns over its data security practices, the bill highlights the need for increased transparency and accountability from technology companies.
The ultimate impact of this bill on TikTok and other technology products viewed as national security threats remains to be seen, but it is clear that the issue of data security and foreign government influence in US technology will continue to be a topic of concern for US lawmakers and regulatory bodies.