Experts speak on concerns surrounding possible nationwide TikTok ban

NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — The federal government and many states, including North Carolina, are taking steps to ban TikTok from government-owned devices due to security concerns. Experts at Duke University discussed those concerns ahead of TikTok’s CEO testifying before Congress next month.

The university says while the younger generation makes up a majority of TikTok users, a large number of adults from various age groups also use the platform.

Experts say the introduction of bills that would ban TikTok is leading to broader discussions about data security and privacy, but a nationwide ban could be difficult to enforce.

Robyn Caplan and Phil Napoli, both teach in the Sanford School of Public Policy, and spoke about those concerns.

“User data privacy and security and the way user data could be used to track users who are important or influential, journalists for example, government officials for example, so there’s that part,” said Phil Napoli, professor of public policy at Sanford and director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke.

“These conversations about TikTok bring up these bigger issues and concerns that we have with all of these other major U.S. social media apps and just major social media apps in general,” said Robyn Caplan, visiting fellow at the Sanford School of Public Policy and a founding member of the Platform Governance Research Network.

TikTok’s CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to testify before the house energy and commerce committee on March 23. He is expected to discuss the platform’s consumer privacy and data security practices, its impact on kids, and the company’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Top Stories