, China
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US Congress hearing on TikTok signals call for data privacy regulation

The US Congress is currently deliberating actions against TikTok.

US Congressional hearings on the TikTok app stressed the need for regulatory measures to protect consumer interests and data security and privacy, GlobalData noted. 

“So many applications and services now collect data that it's vitally important for both consumers and the government to know what happens to that data,” Steven J. Schuchart, Jr., Principal Analyst for Enterprise Infrastructure at GLobalData, said.

“The issue stretches beyond anonymization, it is also about how that data is sold to data brokers – and who they sell to.”

TikTok is a foreign-owned company, whose parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. 

GlobalData noted the hearings do not particularly address how much less well-known data brokers operate. It also does not address significant personal privacy concerns for citizens.

“Ads are big business, and the objection will be that strong privacy and data sovereignty legislation will harm sales. Of course, this is true. Ads would have to be less targeted, but the advertising industry and businesses survived fine before this level of data was available and will again,” he said.

“The age of AI makes privacy and control of data export even more important – AI will make data even more valuable, and the insights gained more frequent. The national security implications and personal privacy issues are plain to see. Enterprises that move to get ahead of regulation and restrict their own use and export of data will have an advantage when the regulations tighten.”


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