TikTok is in trouble. A few days ago, the social network created by the Chinese company Bytedance was banned in India, its largest market, but things are getting worse.

The Hong Kong government has decided to ban it and will no longer be able to access it in the coming days. The same is true for the United States government., which could soon ban it. The fear that the Beijing government would use it as a tool for mass surveillance and propaganda is at the root of these movements.

India has already banned TikTok

TikTok has become a spectacular success especially among the younger generations, but for a long time suspicions about how you collect data It has become an argument for those who are trying to protect the privacy of their devices.

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This argument is now used by several countries which have decided to ban the request, created by the Chinese company Bytedance, or is considering doing so.

India made this decision at the end of June 2020 with a series of applications developed by Chinese companies. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team said it had received numerous “statements from citizens data security and privacy breach affecting public policy issues. ”

The Government of India has emphasized that “the collection of this data, its extraction and its profiling by elements hostile to the national security and defense of India“It was a danger they wanted to face. Analysts estimate that one in three mobile phones in India (with 1.3 billion inhabitants) had this application installed.

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Google and Apple are reviewing national guidelines and whether they are approved by these apps are no longer available in their app stores, Google Play et l’App Store.

The situation is not limited only to the technological landscape and socio-political and economic dyes They could also influence this decision: 20 Indian soldiers died in a clash on the border with India weeks ago, sparking a social protest in India that has spread to social networks like Twitter.

Honk Kong, US and Australia also plan to ban it

The decision taken by the Government of India seems contagious. In Hong Kong, TikTok will also become unavailable after the new wave of movements to control the population and the promulgation of a new national security law it could affect this special and semi-autonomous administrative region of China.

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Various U.S. tech giants have suspended Hong Kong government data requests after commissioning of this new law. Facebook, Apple and Google are investigating these requests while Twitter has expressed “deep concern” about the implications of this new law.

TikTok officials have attempted to distance themselves from the associations that have formed and link it to the Beijing government, and suspicion about how and to what extent the app collects data and How much control does the Chinese government have over this data? they keep appearing.

“TikTok is a data collection service disguised as a social network” was the conclusion of a reverse-engineered analysis that an expert carried out months ago on TikTok, and which has joined this and other analysis. independent who revealed serious app privacy concerns that according to these experts “violates the law in various ways while exploiting the data of its users, mainly adolescents”.

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The controversy has spread to the United States government, which a few hours ago also showed this concern. Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, indicated that this country “definitely” plans to ban both TikToks like other Chinese social apps.

U.S. lawmakers have long warned of the security risks associated with handling TikTok’s user data. In China, the law requires domestic companies to “ support and cooperate in intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party«

The situation in this case adds to trade tensions this for years provoked the veto on Huawei, which for example does not have access to the installation of Google services and applications on their Android mobiles.

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Other countries like Australia are also considering banning the app according to sources such as the Herald Sun, although TikTok officials in that country have indicated that this information was not credible and noted that “TikTok does not share our users’ information in Australia with any foreign government, including the Chinese government, and would not do so if requested. ”

Source : Engadget