How TikTok Narrowly Avoided Its Sunday Ban
The nearly 100 million Americans who use the TikTok app on a regular basis let out a collective sigh of relief on Saturday after hearing that the app they love would escape its Sunday ban.
What an interesting saga the TikTok one has been. On Sunday, September 6, President Trump signed Executive Orders to block downloads of TikTok out of concerns that the app was opening up the United States to national security concerns.
Then, on Friday, September 18, the United States Department of Commerce announced it would be backing the President and issuing prohibitions on TikTok saying on its website, "The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S."
The TikTok ban was set to happen at midnight, Sunday, September 20, but Saturday evening American TikTok users were treated to a plot twist when President Trump gave a tentative “blessing” to the marriage of TikTok and major United States corporations, Oracle and Walmart.
As part of the deal, the United States-based tech companies Oracle and Walmart will be teaming up for a new venture called TikTok Global, which will be headquartered right here in the United States meaning that TikTok would no longer be banned...at least for now.
Interestingly, the Chinese tech company ByteDance is expected to hold its majority-ownership position, but President Trump and the United States Department of Commerce seem satisfied that the marriages of the companies will be safe enough that it will no longer pose national security issues.
Some, however, are not convinced that this really is the best idea. Chris Kelly, former chief privacy officer at Facebook told NPR, "The interactions with the Chinese government and the ability of the Chinese government to put pressure on the ByteDance company is still substantial." Kelly continued, "It won't be strange to have interaction between the two companies on a number of different issues, including algorithmic operations, so that could stretch into personal data pretty easily."