The Lawfare Podcast: Why is Everyone Banning TikTok?

By Jen Patja Howell
Wednesday, December 28, 2022, 5:01 AM

In the last few weeks, over a dozen U.S. states have banned TikTok from government devices, citing national security concerns. A similar bill was included in the omnibus spending bill, requiring the social media video app to be removed from the devices used by federal agencies. But addressing the concerns over how the Chinese government could coerce TikTok’s parent company to get access to Americans' data raises interesting questions about the existing data protection and privacy frameworks in the U.S.

To discuss what is going on, Lawfare’s Fellow in Technology Policy and Law Eugenia Lostri sat down with Caitlin Chin, a fellow with the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who has been closely following these developments. They discussed why TikTok is considered a national security threat to the United States, why a ban might not be the right solution to this problem, and her recommendations for what a comprehensive data protection framework should look like.