May 11, 2023
The Scoop with Nihal Krishan Part 2: TikTok
In this episode of Tech Transforms, Nihal Krishan, tech reporter at FedScoop, discusses how and where the American government is lagging behind in technology, but there is a focus on modernization to improve the situation. We also talk about the need for comprehensive data privacy legislation and how budget caps may impact government agencies' modernization initiatives. Additionally, we explore concerns surrounding TikTok's ownership and data privacy, as well as the addiction and potentially harmful effects of the platform. We also touch on the importance of respecting sources as a journalist and provide a few podcast recommendations. Finally, we look at the challenges in understanding algorithms used by TikTok and how they could be used to promote divisive content. Join us to learn about these transformative topics in the tech world!Introducing Our Guest, Nihal Krishan
Nihal Krishan is a journalist who has covered the controversies surrounding TikTok. He highlights the privacy violations committed by the company when it accessed journalists' personal information to control their narrative. Krishan also acknowledges the legitimate fears surrounding the app since TikTok's parent company is based in China. However, he notes that there is no objective evidence of the Chinese government misusing American data obtained through TikTok. He raises the question of whether American social media companies are any better at safeguarding data than TikTok. Krishan argues that the debate over TikTok highlights the need for data privacy legislation in Congress.Key Topics:
* Government Budget and IT Modernization
* Privacy and Security on TikTok
* Social Media and Data Privacy
* [00:00:57] TikTok has been criticized for invading journalists' privacy to control their perceptions of the app, but the evidence for harm is primarily based on perception and politics. There are concerns about Chinese government access to American data, but it has not been proven yet. The issue of data privacy is a larger problem for social media companies in general and calls for legislation.
* [00:06:04] TikTok is a popular Chinese-owned social media platform with almost a billion users, mainly Gen Z, and its popularity has caused concerns about national security and data privacy in the US.
* [00:10:13] Understanding TikTok's algorithms is like understanding Facebook and Google's algorithms. The government is concerned that TikTok could sow seeds of discord like how Russians did in 2016 on Facebook. It's a complicated problem faced by all social media platforms.
* [00:12:29] TikTok is highly addictive and has a powerful algorithm that tailors to a user's preferences. Instagram and other apps are trying to copy its success. Concerns arise over its safety and effects on users, especially children and those with attention issues, requiring regulations.
* [00:14:57] Data privacy laws are crucial for people who don't have time to limit their phone and social media use. Bipartisan support exists for Children's data and app time protection, but comprehensive legislation is still needed.
* [00:18:54] US government lags behind in technology; modernization is a key issue for federal agencies and Congress has formed an IT Modernization Committee to improve it, but bureaucracy and political battles affect appropriations for IT modernization.
* [00:22:31] Caps on spending for agencies may hamper modernization efforts.
* [00:24:18] Budget cuts expected on unspecified agencies and programs; impact and details unknown. Reporting on changes to come. Cybersecurity noted.
* [00:25:50] Journalists rely on trust to get information and protect sources. Most people's comments are not newsworthy, and journalists don't report everything they hear. Building relationships and protecting sources is important for breaking good...