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Should Congress Investigate Big Tech Platforms?

This week, the Home Power and Commerce Committee will maintain a full committee listening to 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 father or mother firm.

This listening to is a part of an ongoing investigation to find out whether or not TikTok needs to be banned in the USA or pressured to separate from ByteDance.

A ban on TikTok would have an effect on over 150 million Individuals 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 prospects.

Is TikTok The Solely Threat To Nationwide Safety?

In accordance with a memo launched by the Tech Oversight Mission, TikTok will not be the one tech platform that poses dangers to nationwide safety, psychological well being, and youngsters.

As Congress scrutinizes TikTok, the Tech Oversight Mission additionally strongly urges an investigation of dangers posed by tech firms 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 Huge Tech firms 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 doable. Lecturers, activists, non-governmental organizations, and others have lengthy raised considerations about these platforms’ dangers.

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

Dangers Posed By Huge Tech Corporations

The next are examples of the dangers Huge Tech firms pose to U.S. customers.

Amazon

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 firms, together with a banned surveillance agency with ties to the army.

Apple

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.

Google

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

Meta

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 impartial information group with 13 accounts and two pages, pushing messages vital of right-wing voices and the center-left.

TikTok 

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

Conclusion

Whereas the risks posed by TikTok are plain, it’s clear that Congress must also deal with 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 Ok/Shutterstock

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