Should Congress Investigate Big Tech Platforms?
This week, the Home Power and Commerce Committee will maintain a full committee hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Chew to debate how the platform handles customers’ knowledge, its impact on children, and its relationship with ByteDance, its Chinese language guardian firm.
This listening to is a part of an ongoing investigation to find out whether or not TikTok ought to be banned in the USA or compelled to separate from ByteDance.
A ban on TikTok would have an effect on over 150 million People who use TikTok for schooling, leisure, and revenue era.
It will additionally have an effect on the 5 million U.S. companies utilizing TikTok to achieve clients.
Is TikTok The Solely Danger To Nationwide Safety?
In line with a memo launched by the Tech Oversight Venture, TikTok is just not the one tech platform that poses dangers to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and kids.
As Congress scrutinizes TikTok, the Tech Oversight Venture 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’ personal knowledge.
Many Large 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. Teachers, activists, non-governmental organizations, and others have lengthy raised issues about these platforms’ dangers.
To actually scale back Large 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 knowledge.
Dangers Posed By Large Tech Corporations
The next are examples of the dangers Large 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 providers to Chinese language corporations, together with a banned surveillance agency with ties to the army.
Unbiased research 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 youngsters’s knowledge with out parental consent. YouTube additionally modified its algorithm to make it extra addictive, rising customers’ time watching movies and consuming advertisements.
Fb allowed Cambridge Analytica to reap the personal knowledge of over 50 million customers. It additionally did not notify over 530 million customers of a knowledge breach that resulted in customers’ personal knowledge 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 important of right-wing voices and the center-left.
TikTok staff confirmed that its Chinese language guardian firm, ByteDance, is concerned in decision-making and has entry to TikTok’s person knowledge. Whereas testifying earlier than the Senate Homeland Safety Committee, Vanessa Pappas, TikTok COO, would not confirm whether or not ByteDance would give TikTok person knowledge to the Chinese language authorities.
Whereas the hazards posed by TikTok are plain, it’s clear that Congress must also handle the dangers posed all through the tech business. By holding all main offenders accountable, we will create a secure, safe, and accountable digital panorama for everybody.
Featured Picture: Koshiro Okay/Shutterstock
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