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TikTok Ban Would be Hypocrisy, Apple Co-founder Says – CNN

Steve Wozniak said any US move to ban tech platforms that track users should apply to all companies that do it, such as Facebook and Google

Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder (Reuters).


Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he thinks the threat by the US government to ban the Chinese short-video app TikTok is hypocrisy.

Why? Because it only targets one tech giant while US giants such as Facebook and Google are also making vast sums of money by tracking users and should be part of the same proposed ban – if one is going to be enforced, Wozniak said in a televised interview with CNN.

Wozniak, who admitted he enjoys watching videos about dogs being rescued, said he was happy about Apple, which he co-founded with Steve Jobs in the mid-70s, because it protects users’ privacy and security.

But he said: “Tracking you is questionable – but my gosh, look at what we’re accusing TikTok of, and then go look at Facebook and Google and that’s how they make their businesses.


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“I mean, Facebook was a great idea, but then they make all their money just by tracking you and advertising, and Apple doesn’t really doo that so much. I consider Apple the good guy.”

Wozniak, who helped found the Electronic Frontier Foundation digital rights group in 1990, said the principle that someone should not be tracked online without their knowledge should apply to every company.

Meanwhile, TechSpot has said TikTok would face a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per US user – up to $850 billion, because it has up to 170 million users in America – if it fails to comply with the Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, passed by Congress in March, and divest the social media platform within six months.

It noted that former Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was reported interested in buying the app, possibly with help from OpenAI chief Sam Altman and others such as former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

However, Vice President Kamala Harris was quoted as saying: “We do not intend to ban TikTok. That is not the goal or the purpose of this conversation. We need to deal with the [Chinese] owner, and we have national security concerns about the owner of TikTok, but we have no intention to ban TikTok.”

So, the outcome of the proposed law and how it will affect TikTok is uncertain.

Currently, the Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications bill is before the US Senate, which is trying to determine the best path on which to proceed.


  • Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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