Are you one of the millions of people who find themselves endlessly scrolling on TikTok? The popular video-sharing app has become a source of entertainment and income for content creators and businesses alike. However, with the increasing efforts by the federal government and state lawmakers to ban TikTok, its future in the United States is uncertain.
Why is this happening?
One of the primary concerns surrounding TikTok is its Chinese ownership by ByteDance Ltd. Lawmakers worry that the Chinese government could exploit the app as a means to access American user data, including location, preferences, and activities. Dr. Vahid Behzadan, an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Data Science at the University of New Haven, explains that the data collected by TikTok is stored on servers in China, raising significant national security concerns. The Chinese government has laws that require companies to provide user data upon request, potentially enabling them to spy on U.S. users.
TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, has reassured users that the app has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government. However, concerns about content regulation also persist. Violent videos, hate speech, and dangerous challenges have caused unease among lawmakers.
Is this happening in other countries too?
TikTok has already been banned in several countries, including India, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Estonia. These bans serve different purposes, from national security and data privacy concerns to the content allowed on the app. Several other countries, like Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Taiwan, have partial bans in place.
What happens to your account if TikTok is banned?
While a complete ban on TikTok in the United States is still uncertain, it is possible that it may happen in the future. If a ban is implemented, you may lose access to your account, including the ability to view, produce, or share videos, and send or receive messages. Creating a new account would also be impossible.
The fate of your stored videos and images on TikTok is somewhat uncertain. You should still be able to access them on your device, but sharing or adding them to your account may not be possible. As a precaution, it is recommended to download your data, including your profile, video history, activity, and app settings. TikTok provides an option to download your data through the “Settings and privacy” tab on your account. Keep in mind that processing this request may take a few days.
As the debate over TikTok’s future in the United States continues, it is essential to stay informed about the evolving situation. Keep an eye on the news and follow the guidelines provided by experts like Dr. Vahid Behzadan to understand the potential impact on your TikTok experience.