Once More With Feeling: Banning TikTok Doesn't Do Much If We Don’t Regulate Data Brokers And Pass A Privacy Law


But banning TikTok, while refusing to pass a privacy law or regulate data brokers (which traffic in significantly greater volumes of sensitive data at much greater collective scale), winds up mostly being a performative endeavor driven more by anti-competitive intent (and a desire to control the flow and scope of modern news, information and propaganda) than any desire for serious reform.

I don’t use TikTok, I don’t have an account nor, do I intend on ever creating one. But if China wants to get info on all of us, they don’t need TikTok. They can just go to a random data broker and slurp up what they have on all of us. And best of all, that’s pretty much completely legal. They can get more data than TikTok (probably) has and we’re still screwed.

But even lawmakers who sincerely believe that banning TikTok makes meaningful inroads on national security or consumer privacy generally don’t seem to understand the size and scope of the problem we’re dealing with.

That’s unfortunately so often the case in many fields when it comes to technology (and more).