MNTN CEO Mark Douglas Talks TikTok’s Data Access and Twitter’s Battle Over Free Speech
The ban is lifted on TikTok, yet data privacy issues ensue.
Written by Melissa Yap
The Biden Administration have overthrown Trump’s Executive Order to ban TikTok and WeChat, but with a catch. Additionally, Nigeria has blocked Twitter, after the app deleted tweet from the country’s president. Mark Douglas, CEO of MNTN, joined Joe Donlon’s The Donlon Report to discuss the ongoing data privacy / access and censorship issues that continues to ruffle the technology industry.
To Download or Not to Download?
While TikTok and WeChat are being set free again, the data privacy issue still remains. The Biden Administration have ordered “an analysis of the apps to see if they are collecting personal data, or have connections to the Chinese military or intelligence activities,” reported Donlon on his news segment. Ultimately, the question remains – should users need to worry about what these apps are collecting, and how they are collecting it? “Countries [like Germany and China] have laws and rules that require any data collected on the citizens on that country, to be kept within the country. The US would need to follow the lead of these countries, and it’s a very reasonable thing to look at.”
Consumers need to think twice before downloading apps as “Once turned on, [the apps] are recording everything. That’s something to be concerned about, as [consumers don’t want their] information going to everywhere. Ultimately, you as a customer has to decide whether you trust that company, and countries can put laws in place and make sure they’re being enforced,” Douglas explains.
Is Access to the Free and Open Internet Being Jeopardized?
Meanwhile, in other news, Nigeria recently blocked Twitter after the app deleted President Buhari’s tweet. This raised concerns again about the nature of free speech on the Internet. Douglas’ opinion on this latest news? Looking at the definition of ‘Open’, which varies between companies and its users. “If you’re Twitter, then closing the internet is done by countries. If you’re a consumer of Twitter, then they make that choice whether to block anyone or not. Consumers see it as cynical because Tw makes that choice and Tw doesn’t see it as cynical as they’re looking at who controls them.”