President Trump apparently wants to ban the popular video app TikTok in the United States. On the president’s flight back to Washington, he said, “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” which could mean bad news for Microsoft as the company is in talks to acquire the app.
Banning an app like TikTok, which millions of Americans use to communicate with each other, is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical. https://t.co/ZbN7f2TOwF
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 1, 2020
Donald Trump has made some rather controversial statements during his time as president. The latest one involves comments to reporters on the AirForce One. It seems that the president wants to ban the video-sharing app owned by Chinese ByteDance.
“Well, I have the authority. I can do it with an executive order or that,” he said, referring to emergency economic powers.
ABOARD AF1 – Potus says he plans to terminate the social media platform Tik-Tok in the US using presidential authority.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 1, 2020
This wouldn’t be the first country to ban the app since India already implemented a ban on the app back in June. The reason for this ban would primarily be privacy concerns, as TikTok tracks, user location, information and user metadata, and Chinese law can make any domestic company hand over all user data. However, a TikTok spokesperson said that it is independent and not subject to Chinese government data requests. He also claimed that the platform is a job creator commuted to its users’ privacy and safety.
“We’ve hired nearly 1,000 people to our U.S. team this year alone, and are proud to be hiring another 10,000 employees into great paying jobs across the U.S.,” the spokesperson said. “Our $1 billion creator fund supports U.S. creators who are building livelihoods from our platform… TikTok U.S. user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access.”
Microsoft is also supposed to be in talks to acquire the app from ByteDance, even against Trump’s wishes. Still, if Microsoft does end up buying the app, it “will be a one hundred percent American company,” and this ban would be, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, “a danger to free expression.”