Tech & Digital Marketing

A TikTok ban in South Africa?

A TikTok ban in South Africa?

Advertisers in the US have to wait and see what the outcome of a potential ban will be as the President Joe Biden administration continues to demand that video app TikTok owners sell some of their stake.

TikTok has reassured advertisers that the app is unlikely to be banned in the U.S amidst the Biden cloud of national security concerns.

Sell stake in TikTok or face a possible ban.

Biden’s administration has raised concerns about the app’s owners collecting data on American users to potentially influence the app’s content.

TikTok which has seen more than 4 billion downloads globally and has the title of most downloaded app in 2022, has seen growing privacy concerns with no end in sight.

A ban in SA?

While the European Union, US and Canada flagged the app on staff and official devices, citing privacy risks and security as primary factors, TikTok’s owner ByteDance has called for calm following the U.S. House committee on Foreign Affairs voting to grant President Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok.

A ban on TikTok would mean a necessitated conversation on censorship and regulation considering some Western social media platforms are likely to be trading personal information.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew said he will be testifying to the senate this week in arguing why the app does more for its community which includes the business sector, both small and medium sized businesses.

A ban in SA is not on the cards yet, and would most likely destabilize marketing streams for brands and the business sector alike.

The access to personal information debate is an ongoing discussion which deserves the right questions answered before the ban button is pressed.

In July 2021, South Africa passed new law, the South Africa Personal Information Act which states that any orgnaization which manages personal data needs to comply with the Act to remain compliant or face fines by the Information Regulator.

Fines start from 1 to 10 million rand or jail time.

The POPIA Act applies to both the digital space and physical collection of data.

The Act recommends that companies appoint information officers to make it easier to manage other recommendations and advice that can be solicited by international law firms.

Multiple government agencies including the private business sector have attempted to impose bans on ByteDance’s TikTok.

Countries and their position on the ban

India, the U.S. among countries such as Indonesia, the United Kingdom and even Bangladesh have indicated stricture measures against the app.

In the United Kingdom, electronic devices used by ministers and other employees have banned the service due to the app’s handling of user data.

In Norway, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store banned the app from work phones including tablets used by ministers and political advisers.

In Europe the French President Emmanuel Macron has labelled the app deceptively innocent with intent to regulate the app in the future



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Samuel Kwame Boadu