TikTok has become one of the world’s most popular social networks in recent years, with over 1 billion users worldwide. However, the app from China has faced significant controversy due to concerns over the collection of personal data from its subscribers. The issue has raised alarm bells in some countries’ governments, particularly in the United States.
A recent report by CNBC reveals that a bill to prohibit the use of TikTok in the US is closer to being approved. The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs voted to pass legislation that would grant President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok in the country. The bill, known as the McCaul Data Act, was approved with a vote of 24 in favor and 16 votes against it. This has triggered a debate on the safety of TikTok and whether the app should be allowed to operate in the US.
TikTok is very close to a ban in the United States
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The Chairman of the Committee, Michael McCaul, stated that the bill aims to address the safety concerns surrounding TikTok. He stated, “Everybody knows what TikTok is. It’s too dangerous to be on our phones as members of Congress. In my judgment, it’s too dangerous to be on our children’s phones. That’s the whole point of this bill.”
The vote got 24 votes in favor coming from Republican party representatives. And 16 votes against coming from Democratic party members. The bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law. As it needs to be voted on in the Senate and approved by President Biden. Also, if the President decides to veto it, the veto can be revoked. With a two-thirds vote of the members of the House and the Senate.
TikTok has responded to the bill, with a spokesperson stating, “An American ban on TikTok is a ban on exporting American culture and values to the more than 1 billion people who use our service around the world. There is disappointment to see this hasty legislation moving forward. Despite its considerable impact on the free speech rights of millions of Americans who use and love TikTok”.
So, the ongoing debate over TikTok’s safety and privacy concerns highlights the tension between national security and individual freedoms. The fate of the app in the US remains uncertain. But it is clear that the debate is far from over.