The demand is staggering given the popularity and economic potential of TikTok, but the US won’t be the first country to attempt a TikTok ban. India, one of TikTok’s biggest and fastest growing markets, banned the app on national security grounds. Carr’s letter demanding the same follows a bombshell report from BuzzFeed News claiming user data in the United States was accessed in China. Interestingly, TikTok announced the same day that it was transferring US user data to Oracle servers.
Citing leaked audio clips from more than 80 internal meetings that took place in China, TikTok employees reportedly admitted that the company’s engineers had had unfettered access to US user data for nearly six months between September 2021 and January 2022. TikTok, on the other hand, has repeatedly asserted that no party has access to user data across regional borders.
Carr pointed to several disturbing findings from recent years, blaming the enforcement of surreptitious data collection and user tracking practices that strictly violated policies. Although TikTok has partnered with Oracle to store its US-based users’ data on servers on US soil, Carr says the move doesn’t address concerns he’s raised. It would be interesting to see if Carr’s request and the BuzzFeed investigation snowball into a bigger headache for TikTok in 2022, which could once again renew the campaign for a TikTok ban.
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