By: SOPHIA PACHECO
TikTok and Wechat (although one is favoured much more than the other) have become a big part of the United States’ entertainment industry, even though it was created in China and not in the U.S. itself. TikTokers spend hours creating their tiktoks, gathering millions of followers in the span of just a few months. Billions of dollars are made with the support of creators on the app, and the allure of the new “Vine” prompts people to download the app to look at new memes and try their hand at becoming viral. But on Sunday, the steady incline of tiktok downloads in the U.S. will stop with the new ban from the Trump Administration going into effect.
But why will these popular apps be banned? According to WralTechWire.com, “Each collects vast swaths of data from users, including network activity, location data, and browsing and search histories.”. This poses security risks for government officials as well as average day to day citizens, making it easy for China to gather information and passcodes to sensitive websites.
Reports from Forbes.com say “a beta version of Apple’s iOS 14 caught the app secretly accessing users’ clipboards and a backlash immediately followed”. Clipboards, in short, are the places where you store all your passwords and keystrokes, as well as your app history and data usage. Having secret access to your clipboard means that TikTok has the ability to see your interests, your passwords, what you do on your phone at all times, and even where you are. Not only does TikTok know what you’re doing at all times, but it can be toxic for your mental health too, with its addictiveness “likes”
Removing these tech giants might be beneficial for the safety of the United States, but putting a straight-on ban on it is not a great way to start off in the removal process.