WKRC: Local expert says ban on TikTok begs bigger question about privacy

Social media expert Jeffrey Blevins weighs in on Montana’s TikTok ban

So far, 33 states have taken action to restrict the use of TikTok by the American public; and in May 2023 Montana announced an outright ban on the app which is owned and operated by a Chinese company.

headshot of Jeffrey Blevins

Jeffrey Blevins, PhD, professor in UC's Department of Journalism and School of Public and International Affairs. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

 “There really isn’t any direct evidence to show that the Chinese government is using this for surveillance, although it’s certainly possible,” Jeffrey Blevins, a professor in the School of Public and International Affairs within the Department of Journalism at the University of Cincinnati, said in an interview with WKRC.

Blevins questions how the ban will be enforced and how a ban such as this will affect privacy.

“We don’t have a comprehensive privacy law in the U.S. that would regulate, you know, how businesses can gather data, aggregate that data and how they can use it,” he told the media outlet.  

Blevins is a leading scholar in U.S. telecommunication law and policy, and critical political economy theory and is the co-author of “Social Media, Social Justice and the Political Economy of Online Networks.” He is a trusted media resource, and he has provided expertise on electronic media regulation and Federal Communications Commission policymaking to international, national, regional and local news media.

Watch the interview 

Featured image at top of TikTok logo courtesy of Unsplash/Alexander Shatov

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