The Senate today raised an issue regarding the security of users on the TikTok app. Nominated Senator Falhada Dekow Iman raised the concerns during today’s senate seating claiming that Chinese short video making app paused a threat to data security.
According to the senator, TikTok collects information such as the location of the user, internet Protocol (IP) address and type of device. She said the app then accesses critical information such as the age and phone contacts of the user and also accesses their other social media profiles. Senator Falhada said that contrary to what many believe, the app did not collect the information for targeted advertising as is the norm.
The Senator pointed out that since the inception of the app in 2018, its popularity in the country had grown with many Kenyans sharing short videos and marketing their products on the platform. On the downside, Senator Falhada said that TikTok had created a culture of hate speech, violence, sexual misconduct and bullying through some of the trending topics.
“This has raised ethical concerns and has contributed negatively to the Kenyan society, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic period when schools have remained closed,” Falhada said.
“The standing committee for Information and Technology should work with other agencies to come up with policies and legal framework to ensure the safe usage of the application and protect the data of Kenyans on TikTok.” The senator recommended.
Senator Isaac Mwaura also commented on the topic citing the tensions between the Western Countries and China. Senator Mwaura said that TikTok was under fire due to China’s rise in technology, which the US consider a threat.
The US President Donald Trump’s administration has had concerns with TikTok claiming the company could compromise national security by sharing information with the Chinese government.
The allegations saw Trump issue an executive order forcing TikTok to sell to a US firm. Early this week, Oracle and TikTok reached a deal that would see Oracle run the latter’s US operations using its technology.