TikTok’s meteoric rise shows no signs of slowing down. But there is one thing that might be able to stop the platform: government regulation. Authorities in several regions are continuing to analyze the app’s potential ties to the Chinese Government, and the security of user data in that respect.
One of those authorities happens to be the US Committee on Foreign Investment. They have been investigating TikTok for years, which has seen several senior officials related to the investigation publicly calling for the app to be banned over said concerns.
On November 16th, FBI Director Chris Wray said that, in his assessment, the app does indeed pose a national threat.
’[According to Wray] the risks include “the possibility that the Chinese government could use [TikTok] to control data collection on millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations,” Wray also said that Beijing could use the popular app to “control software on millions of devices,” giving it the opportunity to “technically compromise” those devices.”
Claims like this are nothing new for the app. TikTok has been facing these same accusations since its launch in the US, but that hasn’t slowed down its popularity.
TikTok has repeatedly tried to reassure its users that data is not being used by the CCP even though TikTok’s user agreements do note that China-based staff can access user data for certain functions. That is precisely why a cloud remains over TikTok.
Back in June, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr published an open letter that called for Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their respective app stores. On top of that, former President Donald Trump had threatened a full ban on the app over its links to the Chinese Government.
Eventually, the TikTok ban fell by the wayside, but the rising suspicion led to a data storage deal between TikTok and Oracle, which is what TikTok is now leaning on as a key element in its efforts to address concerns about data sharing.
Now, are we saying that TikTok is going away anytime soon? Absolutely not. It is just worth pointing out that despite all of the growth this app has seen, it’s important to not put all of your eggs in one basket. And that goes for every social media platform.
Meta has struggled at bringing in new users and while still profitable, the profits have begun to decrease year after year. Twitter is under a whole new level of scrutiny after Elon Musk purchased the platform, and tried and failed to implement a new paid checkmark function. And TikTok continues to be under scrutiny by the US government.