No Tik No Tok
This is the first time a social media platform is being attacked politically, front and center. We’ve seen the other platforms being fined or slapped on the wrist, but this is different.
From Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ):
• In 2019, the FTC fined TikTok for knowingly collecting the names, email addresses, pictures, and locations of children under the age of 13 without parental consent.
• In 2022, TikTok agreed to a class-action settlement for harvesting U.S. personal data from users without their consent.
Harvesting data is nothing new. There wouldn’t be any data without it. But when it’s done by an adversary – which China has become – it’s different.
Meanwhile, business loves TikTok.
Business loves it because 13-year-olds and older seem to love it too. All 100 million of them. That’s a fertile business audience, regardless of age. It’s become the Wild West of social media because everything goes.
But the ones who love it most are the Chinese. And that’s the scary part. Never before in history has there been a way to peek into people’s lives and their bedrooms and grab any info you want.
Congressman Gottheimer continues:
• In 2022, TikTok confirmed that China-based employees could gain remote access to Americans’ data, including public videos and comments.
• Chinese law obligates TikTok’s parent company to “support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work.”
Enough proof that the threat is real.
This is not Google getting a multi-million Euro slap on the wrist by the European Commission or Meta being a bad boy again; this is getting far more personal.
This is business not knowing when to stop. And this time, it must.
We all do.