from the whoops-a-daisy dept
We’ve repeatedly made it pretty clear that President Trump’s effort to ban TikTok is little more than a performative, xenophobic, idiotic mess. For one, the effort appears more focused on trying to get Trump-allied Oracle a new hosting deal than any serious concern about consumer privacy and security. Two, banning a teen dancing and lip syncing app does jack shit in terms of thwarting China or protecting U.S. consumer privacy, since the U.S. telecom, app, and adtech markets are largely an unaccountable privacy mess making it trivial to obtain this kind of data elsewhere.
Further highlighting the performative nature of the proposed ban, TikTok this week effectively stated that Trumpland appears to have forgotten about the proposed ban entirely. TikTok filed a petition this week in a US Court of Appeals calling for a review of actions by the Trump administration?s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), pointing out that the deadline for ByteDance to sell off its US assets over national security concerns came and went this week with no action from Trumpland or word on any extension.
Apparently the whole TikTok thing fell off the radar as the administration focuses on pretending it didn’t lose the election. Whoops:
“For a year, TikTok has actively engaged with CFIUS in good faith to address its national security concerns, even as we disagree with its assessment,? TikTok says in a statement to The Verge. ?In the nearly two months since the President gave his preliminary approval to our proposal to satisfy those concerns, we have offered detailed solutions to finalize that agreement ? but have received no substantive feedback on our extensive data privacy and security framework.”
This is, of course, because the TikTok ban was largely performative bullshit and cronyism, designed to drum up some hysteria over China and provide Trump with leverage in his harmful trade war while driving some additional cash and influence to his U.S. allies.
If the Trump administration and GOP genuinely cared about U.S. consumer privacy and security, there’s a laundry list of more pressing issues it could do something about, including shoring up vulnerable U.S. telecom infrastructure, passing even a baseline U.S. privacy law for the internet era, better policing the widespread abuse of <a href=https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20190108/11090741358/another-day-another-massive-cellular-location-data-privacy-scandal-well-probably-do-nothing-about.shtml”>user location data (by corporations and the government alike), attempt to shore up security in the internet of broken things sector, secure election integrity, and stop, you know, trying to destroy encryption.
Neither Trump Inc. nor the Trump-allied GOP does any of this because it’s more interested in bad faith posturing and bullshit than serious governance or public welfare. If the folks fanning their face over TikTok truly cared about consumer privacy and security, we’d do something about the broader, unaccountable mess that is adtech, app, government, and telecom data privacy. Instead we get a giant pile of bullshit and a mountain of billable legal man hours over something that was never serious adult policy to begin with.