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Bill passes House of Representatives to potentially ban TikTok in the US

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The recent passage of a Bill by the United States House of Representatives has sent shockwaves through the tech world, particularly impacting social media giant TikTok. The Bill, aimed at protecting the data of American citizens, could potentially lead to a ban of TikTok in the US. This development underscores the ongoing concerns about data privacy and national security.

The Bill, which passed with bipartisan support, seeks to address concerns regarding the collection and handling of personal data by foreign-owned apps. TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced scrutiny over its data practices and potential ties to the Chinese government. Due to the influence of ByteDance, TikTok is subject to Chinese security laws which enables the Chinese to request that TikTok share data with the government. Proponents of the Bill argue that this connection poses a risk to national security by potentially exposing sensitive information to the Chinese government.

The passage of the Bill in the House of Representatives marks a significant step in the ongoing debate over tech regulation and data privacy. According to the Bill, TikTok would be banned from US app stores unless the platform divested from its parent company within 165 days. Commentators have noted that the Bill will have international ramifications, with other developed countries looking to tackle foreign interference and censorship. Australia has already commenced investigations into TikTok to ensure it is not unduly influenced by the Chinese government.

On the other hand, supporters of TikTok argue that banning the app would infringe on free speech and access to information. They also point out the economic impact of such a ban, affecting not only TikTok but also businesses and creators who rely on the platform for income and exposure.

The Bill is now with the Senate for consideration to determine whether it will be made into law.

For a full reading of the media release, see here.

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