In Senegal, a professional organization files a complaint against TikTok. She wants answers from the Chinese social network regarding the storage of Senegalese user data.
It's a complaint that could well cost TikTok dearly. Even if the latter is unscrupulous about national legislation, the Gathering of companies in the information and communication technology sector (Restic) hopes to bend the social network. The Restic has indeed decided to attack TikTok, by filing a complaint against the owner of TikTok, BytDance.
Objective: challenge the storage of personal data collected by the social network in foreign servers. Which, according to the Restic, contravenes Senegalese legislation on personal data, in particular with regard to children and minors.
Le Restic, in a press release, “complains about the storage of content of others in servers located outside Senegalese territory, data which can be used for other purposes, in particular for the purposes of espionage”. We know how much Chinese companies, such as Huawei, are specialists in espionage practices on the continent.
Content not well suited to Senegal and Africa
With this complaint, Restic hopes to be able to force TikTok to adapt its content and algorithms to Senegalese legislation on children and minors, but also to protect the personal data of Senegalese citizens.
A complaint that comes at a time when TikTok is starting to become essential in Senegal. Questioned by RFI, Moustapha Diakhaté, executive secretary general of Restic, recalls that “TikTok has developed on a very particular demographic segment composed mainly of children and adolescents. You know that the average age in Senegal is around 18-19 years old. TikTok interests children, adolescents and young people between 16 and 17 years old, up to 23-24 years old. And we think that often these young people do not have the maturity to deal with certain content to which they are exposed”.
For the Restic, the problematic content is that which is violent, of a sexual nature or obscene. Or, quite simply, “banished by our habits and customs, here in Senegal and in Africa”.
As for the data, the Restic wants to know where they are, how they are kept and stored. An approach that affects TikTok, therefore, but which could well be broadened: “We would like social networks in general and TikTok in particular to be able to open up to us, to the official authorities of this country, to at least clarify these storage mechanisms. data on children and adolescents who open accounts in these networks. And see under what conditions these data are preserved so that they cannot be used for any other purpose for which they were initially intended”.