May 23, 2024

Government issues demand to TikTok after petition to ban the platform in Kenya

3 min read
Government issues demand to TikTok after petition to ban the platform in Kenya

Interior CS Kindiki reveals that Kenya has written to TikTok explaining that it is not satisfied with their level of compliance with Kenyan laws

Interior CS Kindiki reveals that Kenya has written to TikTok explaining that it is not satisfied with their level of compliance with Kenyan laws.

The government has issued a set of demands to the management of social media platform TikTok following a petition submitted in parliament seeking to ban it in Kenya.

Appearing before the National Assembly Committee on Petitions, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki revealed that the Government, through the office of the Data Protection Commissioner, has contacted TikTok regarding security issues raised by MPs and a petitioner.

The government has asked TikTok management to ascertain the level of compliance to ensure the privacy of individuals is respected.

Besides privacy, the government asked TikTok to elaborate on the effectiveness of age verification and content filtering.

Further, the government asked the social media platform to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act, 2019. 

He, however, noted that it would be premature to ban TikTok in Kenya at the moment without considering the views of the owners and those set to be affected.

He added that an extensive analysis would need to be carried out to weigh the risks and benefits of executing a stern action such as banning the platform locally.

This followed a petition filed by Bob Ndolo seeking to ban the use of TikTok in Kenya which has become a popular application in the country.

Responding to concerns raised by the petitioner, Kindiki pointed out that criminal elements have used the TikTok platform to spread malicious propaganda, steal popular accounts through identity theft and impersonation, defraud users through fake forex trade and job recruitment, distribution of sexual content and exposure of minors to inappropriate content. 

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“The traditional way of communication across the world has been disrupted and social media platforms including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, and Signal have been embraced by citizens as a medium of communicating, sharing information, planning events, promotion of brands and marketing tools for various products,” Kindiki noted.

However, he assured the MPs that the response from TikTok will determine the next course of action in regards to regulating the social media platform.

Zhang Yiming is the main founder of Chinese tech giant ByteDance, best known for its popular app TikTok, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide.

Recently, the app has been placed under scrutiny including by the US government which is also seeking to place an embargo on its use.

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