Kenya demands TikTok abide by national privacy regulations News
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Kenya demands TikTok abide by national privacy regulations

Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki told the Public Petitions Committee of the National Assembly that the National Security Council (NSC) is coping with the threats posed by social media platforms particularly the app TikTok.

TikTok is a short-form online video platform owned by Chinese Internet company ByteDance, rapidly gaining worldwide popularity in recent years. Kindiki expressed concerns that social media platforms, including TikTok, are endangering the public safety and security of Kenya. He alleged these platforms have been used by criminals to spread malicious, illegal content that violates fundamental rights and freedoms and have been manipulated by terrorist groups to generate propaganda. Additionally, he said wrongdoers could “steal popular accounts through identity theft and impersonation” and “conduct fraud by duping Kenyans into fake forex trades and fake job recruitments.”

Kindiki told Parliament that the government has contacted TikTok and raised concerns relating to its data processing policies via the Data Protection Commissioner, requiring TikTok to show compliance with the 2019 Data Protection Act and other relevant laws. Kenya also demanded TikTok provide details on the effectiveness of age verification and content filtering, and implement additional specific Kenya privacy policies as a data controller and/or data processor. “The right to be heard is undeniable right,” Kindiki said, and the government “will enforce the law through the issuance of directives, orders and requirements.”

Kenya is not the only country considering boycotting TikTok. Early in 2023, Canada banned TikTok on government-issued mobile devices. Likewise, Nepal banned TikTok in November for its “negative effects on social harmony and goodwill.” The European Commission opened formal proceedings against TikTok in February for potential breaches of an EU regulation created to protect online service users. Also, the US House of Representatives last week approved a bill that could ban TikTok in the US.