Senators have voiced their concerns over the Chinese owned social media application TikTok and said it should be regulated in Kenya.
Led by Nominated Senator Iman Falhada Dekow, the legislators raised concerns over the safety of data provided by the users when creating their profiles and said the app should be regulated.
Speaking at the floor of the House during a sitting on Thursday, September 17, Dekow said the social media application also promotes the culture of violence, bullying hate speech and sexually explicit content.
“Mr Speaker, there have been various issues on the application on data privacy. The application gathers the information on the user’s country location, internet address an type of device. It also ascertains user’s exact locationa and phone’s contacts,” she said.
The nominated senators urged the standing committee on information and technology to work with other government agencies to establish policy and legal framework to ensure the safe usage of the application.
On his part, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said though the application was famous with the young people, it was obvious internet as a whole had replaced morals and values and thus supported Dekow’s suggestion.
Senator Isaac Mwaura said the regulation should also be done to other apps such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.
“The same should apply to Facebook and Twitter. It is important to check how the user’s data is being used,” he said.
This came a month after President Donald Trump issued executive orders banning transactions between the United States (US) and Chinese tech firms Tencent and ByteDance which is the Beijing-based parent company of TikTok
The app may be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, and the US must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security”, Trump said in one order.
TikTok has consistently denied the allegations by the US saying user data is stored in the US itself with a backup in Singapore.