TikTok on wheels: US terms it ‘National Security Threat’

Technology Khabar २ श्रावण २०८०, मंगलवार

TikTok on wheels: US terms it ‘National Security Threat’

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America’s national security experts made a compelling case against the popular social media application TikTok owned in part by the Chinese government, stating that it constitutes a national security threat, according to The Hill.

Jianli Yang writing for the US-based newspaper mentions that The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned that TikTok allows the Chinese government to access location, biometric identifiers and browsing history.

This information can be shared with the Chinese Communist Party, he added. This information led a bipartisan group of senators, led by US Senator Mark Warner, to recently introduce legislation providing the Department of Commerce the power to regulate the popular social media app.

The Joe Biden-led White House quickly endorsed the bill and called for its immediate passage, reported The Hill.

Jianli Yang, PhD, is the founder and president of Citizen Power Initiatives in China and is an author of “For Us, The Living: A Journey to Shine the Light on Truth” and “It’s Time for a Values-Based “Economic NATO”.

Moreover, many policy analysts even believe it should double its efforts to combat harmful social media companies’ data collection. After all, TikTok is not the first company that poses such a problem, nor will it be the last. Many other apps, such as WeChat, have equally dangerous connections to the Chinese Communist Party that lawmakers should watch closely, according to The Hill.

Chinese-owned social media apps are not the only data collection threat that the American people are currently facing, The Hill reported citing Jianli Yang. However, modern cars also becoming data-collection vacuums. Their cameras and computers collect information about where you travel, what stores you shop at, what music you listen to, and how fast you drive.

Furthermore, The Hill reported that electric cars and especially autonomous vehicles collect millions of terabytes of information that automakers see as digital gold. Over the last year, Application Programming Interface (API) attacks in the automotive industry have surged by over 380 percent. Adding to that, 34 percent of auto employees admitted their company receives more security threats now than two years ago. Moreover, China is one of the global leaders in API attacks, and US attorneys have warned automakers to watch out for the country’s theft of their personal information.

US Representative Gus Bilirakis and Jan Schakowsky’s Innovation, Data, and Commerce Subcommittee should consider a comprehensive legislative framework that ensures transparency and accountability from car manufacturers and protects drivers against misuse of their personal information.

This will turn a staunch national security problem — TikTok on wheels — into a valuable addition to the US economy, wrote Yang in The Hill. The core problem is that carmakers are the ones who are in control of auto data. Vehicles which keep track of this information benefit drivers in untold ways, be it from diagnosing and fixing vehicle malfunctions to providing insurance discounts.

If consumers own this data instead of the auto industry, they will receive the utility of this information without the fear of it potentially getting trapped in the wrong hands.

Global Bank
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