The wildly popular app known for its short dance and playback videos goes under the spell. At least, if it were up to Mike Pompeo, the United States Secretary of State. He would consider banning the video app TikTok because he believes the app shares information with the Chinese government. How exactly is this - and is a ban realistic?
Pompeo's position is not unique. The app is already banned in India and Australia may also want to block the app. For both the United States and Australia, TikTok may not be used by the military and navy. Amazon also "accidentally" expressed its concern in an email to staff last week calling for the app to be removed.
The reason? The Chinese government would rule the app. In fact, Pompeo fears that the Chinese government will spy on American citizens in this way and store their private data. Incidentally, Trump has his own reasons for banning TikTok: punishing China for the way the country acted during the corona outbreak. The US is now the most affected country when it comes to the number of infections and corona deaths.
However, according to TikTok, there is not much going on. The app is said to store all US user data in the US and have a backup in Singapore. Also, the data centers are said to be outside of China, so none of the data is subject to Chinese law. In addition, in a response to Pompeo, a TikTok spokesperson said that no user data has ever been provided to the Chinese government - nor do they intend to do so.
Is that ban going to come?
It is not impossible, although according to analysts it is not so simple to actually implement the ban. Legally, there should first be a good basis for requesting both Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.
Wayne Lam, an independent technology analyst , tells CNET that "the tech community will be very reluctant to accept this ban." Their fear is that, in the future - based on this ban - it will also be easier for the government to ban other apps. In addition, users can bypass the Google Play Store, so the ban is not foolproof.
Lam also says that the US government could block traffic to TikTok, but "this is unlikely to succeed given the justice system." Currently, there is also no law that can authorize the government to prohibit Americans from using the app. Finally, the ban is difficult to enforce for users who have already installed the app on their phone; the service is still available to them, it turned out in India.