Ought to Congress Examine Massive Tech Platforms?

Ought to Congress Examine Massive Tech Platforms?

This week, the Home Vitality and Commerce Committee will maintain a full committee listening to with TikTok CEO Shou Chew to debate how the platform handles customers’ information, its impact on children, and its relationship with ByteDance, its Chinese language dad or mum firm.

This listening to is a part of an ongoing investigation to find out whether or not TikTok ought to be banned in america or compelled to separate from ByteDance.

A ban on TikTok would have an effect on over 150 million People who use TikTok for training, leisure, and earnings era.

It could additionally have an effect on the 5 million U.S. companies utilizing TikTok to succeed in clients.

Is TikTok The Solely Threat To Nationwide Safety?

Based on a memo launched by the Tech Oversight Mission, TikTok isn’t the one tech platform that poses dangers to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and kids.

As Congress scrutinizes TikTok, the Tech Oversight Mission additionally strongly urges an investigation of dangers posed by tech corporations like Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Google.

These platforms have a documented historical past of serving content material dangerous to youthful audiences and adversarial to U.S. pursuits. They’ve additionally failed on many events to guard customers’ non-public information.

Many Massive Tech corporations have seen TikTok’s success and tried to emulate a few of its options to encourage customers to spend as a lot time inside their platforms’ ecosystems as attainable. Lecturers, activists, non-governmental organizations, and others have lengthy raised considerations about these platforms’ dangers.

To really cut back Massive Rech’s dangers to our society, Congress should look past TikTok and maintain different corporations accountable for a similar risks they pose to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and personal information.

Dangers Posed By Massive Tech Firms

The next are examples of the dangers Massive Tech corporations pose to U.S. customers.


Amazon has made a number of controversial strikes, together with a partnership with a state propaganda company to launch a China books portal and providing AWS companies to Chinese language corporations, together with a banned surveillance agency with ties to the navy.


Impartial analysis discovered that Apple collects detailed details about its customers, even when customers select to not enable monitoring by apps from the App Retailer. Over half of the highest 200 suppliers for Apple function factories in China.


The FTC fined Google and YouTube $170 million for gathering kids’s information with out parental consent. YouTube additionally modified its algorithm to make it extra addictive, growing customers’ time watching movies and consuming advertisements.


Fb allowed Cambridge Analytica to reap the non-public information of over 50 million customers. It additionally didn’t notify over 530 million customers of an information breach that resulted in customers’ non-public information being stolen.

It additionally allowed Russian interference within the 2016 elections. The affect operation posed as an unbiased information group with 13 accounts and two pages, pushing messages crucial of right-wing voices and the center-left.


TikTok staff confirmed that its Chinese language dad or mum firm, ByteDance, is concerned in decision-making and has entry to TikTok’s consumer information. Whereas testifying earlier than the Senate Homeland Safety Committee, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO, wouldn’t affirm whether or not ByteDance would give TikTok consumer information to the Chinese language authorities.


Whereas the risks posed by TikTok are simple, it’s clear that Congress must also deal with the dangers posed all through the tech business. By holding all main offenders accountable, we are able to create a protected, safe, and accountable digital panorama for everybody.

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