In the Law

The Forced Divestiture of TikTok

As of late, concerns surrounding data theft and potential national security questions have prompted the president of the United States signed a law on April 24, 2024 (as part of a foreign aid package) that gives China’s ByteDance until January 19, 2025 to sell TikTok to an approved buyer. In this article, we will explain the legal implications of this sale, possible overall effects, and how it may affect you, the user.

Data and National Security Worries:

This potential sale of TikTok to the U.S. comes following the U.S. government’s concerns regarding TikTok’s handling of user data. This stemmed from an investigation done by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, otherwise known as CFIUS. CFIUS scrutinized Musically, a platform similar to TikTok, when it was bought out by ByteDance in 2017. In their study, CFIUS noted privacy concerns involving social media user information and how there may be a potential negative foreign influence on the app’s users in the United States.

With data security being the main issue surrounding this sale, regulatory organizations have emphasized that the acquiring company of TikTok, will have to focus on creating a safe and private user experience to ensure personal user data will not be accessible to foreign governments, bad actors, corrupt organizations or misused in any way. It is very likely that the potential sale of TikTok to the U.S. will drastically change legal frameworks involving data privacy and encryption.

Potential Legal Challenges:

The sale of TikTok to the U.S. will be anything but smooth for both ByteDance and the U.S. government. The sale will involve many legal complexities such as weaving in between data privacy statutes, emphasizing intellectual property rights, and following antitrust regulations. There is also concern that this sale may disrupt TikTok’s effectiveness and use in the U.S. while the transition is ongoing.

Many legal officials fear of a potential large data hack in the middle of the sale as ByteDance transfers millions of U.S. user data to the U.S. Some companies that have been named as potential buyers of TikTok include Oracle and Microsoft. However, U.S. legal officials have emphasized that if and when a corporate giant buys TikTok, that corporation will have to ensure that there is not a cyber attack or data leak during the process of the sale.

Data privacy, national security, and international discord are things to watch out for as news unfolds. Make sure to check back with us here at Orion Expert Network for updates on the legal ramifications of this unprecedented and monumental forced divestiture.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *