Us Bans Tik-Tok (Download PDF)

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US Navy has banned Tik-Tok related to government-issued mobile devices. Tik-Tok became the most downloaded social networking application globally in the first quarter of 2019 overtaking Facebook.

Reasons for the Ban

  • Tik-Tok tends to censor videos on issues that do not please China such as the Tiananmen Square incident, Hong Kong protests and Tibetan Independence.
  • China is promoting its policy of control and censorship abroad through the app.
  • Against the American value system.
  • The app is considered to be a “cybersecurity threat.”

Concerns for India

Social Issues

  • Considerable popularity among the Indian youth.
  • Youngsters attempting dangerous acts.
  • At least 27 people are reported to have died while filming TikTok videos over the last one year.

Objectionable Content

  • Platform for spreading obscene and illicit contents.
  • Primary target consumer being children and young adults.
  • Impact on mental health.

Data-Insecurity

  • Data collection and censorship.
  • Data for Indian users is being stored in the third-party data centres located in the US and Singapore.

National Security Risk

  • Aggravating religious and caste-based hatred.
  • Aggravating political differences in the country.
  • Availability of a variety of user data.
  • Data with high commercial value (biometric and Behavioural patterns) .

Measures India Should Take

  • Effective civil rights audit is needed.
  • Data protection bill.
  • Setting up a grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Data centres within the country.
  • Strict privacy rules for apps.
  • Customers should be secured with respect to their data.

The Draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2019

  • Recently introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • Now would be examined by a joint select committee.
  • Need for data localization.
  • Treating data as a national property.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 31, 2020

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