H2: TikTok’s Next Stop Is US Courts as CEO Falls Flat
In July 2020, the popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok exploded onto the global stage, boasting more than 2 billion downloads and 500 million monthly active users. But as its meteoric rise continues to capture the world’s attention, concerns about the app’s security and privacy have raised red flags. In August 2020, TikTok’s CEO Kevin Mayer resigned favoring data protection and privacy concerns.
Now, TikTok’s future in the United States hangs in the balance as the app faces legal challenges in the US Courts. This guide explores the latest developments in the TikTok saga and what they mean for users and brands alike.
TikTok Denies Data Misuse and Security Threats
One of TikTok’s biggest challenges has been to allay concerns about its data security and privacy policies. The app collects a wealth of data from its users, including their location, IP addresses, and device information, which has raised concerns about how that data is being used.
TikTok has consistently denied allegations of data misuse and security breaches, stating that it stores all US user data in servers located outside China and that its data centers are subject to strict security protocols. However, lawmakers in the United States remain skeptical, with some going as far as to label the app a “national security threat.”
The White House Issues Executive Order
On August 6, 2020, the US President Donald Trump issued an executive order that effectively banned TikTok from operating in the United States unless its US operations were sold to an American company within 45 days. The order cited concerns about data security and privacy as the main reasons for the ban, stating that TikTok’s data collection poses a threat to US national security.
The order was met with fierce opposition from TikTok, who called the move “unjust” and as an attack on a platform that has become an essential outlet for creators and brands, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has vowed to challenge the order in court, setting the stage for a legal battle that could redefine the future of social media and internet governance.
TikTok Files Lawsuit Against the US Government
In response to the executive order, TikTok filed a lawsuit against the US government on August 24, 2020, alleging that the order is unconstitutional and that it was not given due process before it was issued. The suit names President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross as defendants and seeks to block the order from taking effect.
TikTok argues that the executive order violates the company’s First Amendment rights and that the US Government did not follow the proper procedures to enforce a ban on a social media app. TikTok’s lawyers also argue that the order was issued with political motives, rather than in response to legitimate concerns about data privacy and national security.
Oracle and Walmart Partnership
A potential deal emerged that Oracle and Walmart were to acquire 20% of the stakes in TikTok America. However, the agreement is still pending and has not been finalized.
The saga of TikTok’s US future is far from over. As the legal battle continues to play out in courts, the app’s millions of users and brands are left wondering about its fate. Amidst this uncertainty, the best course of action for TikTok users and brands is to stay informed about the latest developments and to comply with all data protection and privacy policies. It is important to ensure TikTok profiles are well optimized as we are amidst a potential of massive user base realignment.
How to stay updated
In order to stay updated on the latest developments in this evolving story, follow credible news sources for accurate and unbiased reporting. Additionally, pay attention to TikTok’s official statements and updates, as well as statements from US lawmakers and regulators. The Legal Requirements of TikTok users and brands are likely to change drastically as the agreement is finalized.
Lastly, brands and users should take steps to protect their data privacy following best practices for social media usage, such as limiting the amount of personal information shared on the app and using strong and unique passwords.