Cincinnati Edition: U.S. joins a growing number of governments moving toward banning TikTok

UC cyber security expert Richard Harknett speaks to data collection and privacy issues with TikTok

TikTok, a Chinese owned company, is among the most popular social media platforms in the U.S., but security concerns have government officials considering actions that range from an outright ban of the platform to establishing a U.S. product to take away the threat.

“It’s going to be a really interesting challenge to do this legally and also socially,” UC cyber security expert Richard Harknett remarked in a discussion on "Cincinnati Edition" about TikTok, considered by some to be a national security threat.    

Harknett, a professor who directs UC’s School of Public and International Affairs, was a guest speaker with Dave Hatter, cyber security consultant with, intrustIT.

The discussion occurred around the same time that TikTok’s CEO was being questioned by the U.S. congress regarding the aggregation of user data, which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.    

“Imagine if I had 150 million people who I plugged into at the individual level a listening device – why wouldn’t I use that to advance my vision of the way the world should work; and the Chinese Communist Party has a very different vision of how the world should work,” Harknett queried the audience.

Both he and Hatter agreed that there needs to be some type of intervention to protect users and to protect the country.

“This thing is just too invasive and too non-transparent to leave it as is,” stated Harknett.

Listen to the interview

Featured image at top of Richard Harknett. Photo/Lisa Ventre/UC Marketing + Brand.

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