Q&A Thursday Episode 10
Q&A Thursday Episode 10
Welcome back to another Q&A Thursday Episode 10 with Orlagh & Jacob. This week’s we discuss the TikTok app ban in the US as well as TikTok’s chief executive leaving his position.
In the past couple of weeks, questions regarding TikTok’s safety and security when handling data have occurred. Now many are leaders showing concern. US President Donald Trump announced on 1st August that TikTok would be out of business in the US. Consequently, the rising threat of the US ban on TikTok has led Kevin Mayer, TikTok’s chief executive to leave.
On 29th June the government in India banned the TikTok app, along with 58 other Chinese mobile apps due to security purposes. India has said they have decided to ban these apps as they have been using data illegally. Some apps collected information from users phones without them knowing. The head of TikTok within India, Nikhil Gandhi, stated that TikTok does comply with the data privacy and security obligations from Indian law and does not share information with any other government. As a result, the ban of TikTok has confused users and therefore asking for similar apps.
The ban and possible of TikTok in countries around the world has sparked discussion and confusion as to whether TikTok will continue within the UK. Many have also questioned the security of their data and how trustworthy large social media platforms are.
Will TikTok be banned in the UK?
At the moment the UK government is being put under pressure by the US to ban TikTok here too. Officials stated that there is some concern regarding various Chinese companies and possible risk. However, it is unlikely that there will be a full ban of TikTok in the UK. It’s known that the decision made in the US isn’t going to influence the UK government’s decision.
Can we trust social media platforms with our data?
Social media has become a significant part of many lives. Across the world, over 3.80 billion active social media users are sharing their data with large corporations. Many have feared over the past couple of years that our data shared with social media platforms isn’t safe. They have also questioned whether we should trust multimillion-dollar companies to store our data.
Questioning the security of our data is not ridiculous. In recent years, there have been many issues with large corporations selling or mishandling user data. One event that led to the breach of millions of users data was the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The 2018 scandal consisted of a breach resulting in leaked user data. Cambridge Analytica then harvested this data for the use of targeted political ads. This breach was the most prominent Facebook leak since it launched in 2004.
Another recent issue concerning large corporations handling data is the UK’s concern over Huawei. Recently, the UK decided to ban UK network providers from using Huawei’s 5G kit and aim to remove all the technology by 2027. A decision to remove Chinese technology comes after security concerns as the UK may become dependent on the foreign tech. Trusting the Chinese tech could leave mobile phones at risk of spying or communication disruption from the Chinese.
What will take TikTok's place?
What will happen if the US or the UK bans TikTok, what will take over? Many speculate TikTok users will move over to new social media platform Byte. Byte is similar to TikTok as both are short-form video creation apps but byte limits videos to 6 seconds long. Byte follows the footsteps of Vine, a popular video-sharing app taken down in 2016.
Does it have potential?
Could Byte replace TikTok?
TikTok is one of if not the fastest growing social media platform to date and will be difficult to replace. Since Bytes launch in January 2020 to April 2020 Byte had accumulated over 1.3 million downloads. Although Byte saw success at the beginning of its launch the app, it couldn’t compete with TikTok’s 2 billion downloads by April 2020. Despite the lack of downloads Byte still has the potential to gain popularity due to its history with Vine.
If you enjoyed Q&A Thursday Episode 10. Don’t Forget to Tune in every week for Q&A Thursday with Jacob and Orlagh.