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Kenya Asks TikTok To Show It Is Following Local Privacy Regulations

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Kenya’s interior minister stated on Thursday that TikTok, a short-form video hosting platform owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has been asked to demonstrate that it is abiding by local privacy and user verification regulations, since the network has been used to disseminate sexual content, commit fraud, and propagate misinformation.

Regulators from all over the world are putting pressure on TikTok and other social media companies to protect users from offensive content and criminals who take advantage of the platforms.

“The government, through the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, has contacted TikTok and raised concerns relating to its processing activities,” Interior Minister Kithure Kindiki told a parliamentary committee.

It has defended its track record on user privacy in response to similar complaints in other nations.

Kindiki stated that criminals had been using the platform “to conduct fraud by tricking Kenyans into fake forex trades and fake job recruitments,” as well as “to spread malicious propaganda, steal popular accounts through identity theft and impersonation.” “These risks have caused distress among users, exposed minors to inappropriate content and promoted discord among citizens,” he said.

“TikTok will get the attention but the problem will not stop there,” Odanga Madung, a researcher at the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, told Reuters. “The government of Kenya is right to demand some transparency in regard to how TikTok carries out moderation.”

Three TikTok companies were fined a total of 10 million euros ($10.91 million) by Italy’s antitrust watchdog last week for failing to adequately screen content that would endanger young or vulnerable users.

According to a draft law approved by the US House of Representatives, the corporation will likewise be prohibited from operating in the country unless its Chinese owners sell within around six months.

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