Recently White house claimed cybersecurity issues when threatening TikTok and Chinese conglomerate Tencent’s WeChat was with bans earlier this year. It is made very much obvious that the Trump administration is more interested in coming off as tough on China. Furthermore, an announcement on Friday was made by the administration that the US app store is going to cease hosting applications Wechat and TikTok in the coming weeks.
The U.S. Commerce Department, which chairs the committee is going to decide whether the deal will go through or not. It was said that as of September 20th, venues like Google and Apple play store will cease distributing these two applications. Moreover, there will be a suspension of payment processing also via the latter application. From September 20th onwards, web hosts, content delivery networks, and other service providers are requested to stop providing functioning and optimization for the Wechat application.
Furthermore, the same rules and regulations will kick in on Nov. 20 for TikTok- an unpopular decision for an application having more than 100 million US users. This kick-off for the application is till the time TikTok sells its majority stake to a US firm or finds another arrangement to satisfy the Commerce Department. Therefore, these new prohibitions Apple, Google, and other U.S. app stores are not only going to prevent users from downloading it out but will actively determine security preventing developers from fixing vulnerabilities. If TikTok contains bugs known to criminals now or discovered by them later, then users will be prevented from downloading security patches.
With these recent issues of Wechat and TikTok, the primary security concern at the individual level will be the unavailability of security grades. Thus creating a more vulnerable population of consumer smart devices. Therefore, to truly address the security concerns raised during the pandemic by social media platforms Congress should enact comprehensive surveillance reform as well as strong consumer data privacy legislation.