Letters to the Editor: Oh, now they care about privacy? The TikTok panic is political theater

A TikTok sign is displayed on a company building in Culver City.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

To the editor: I find it hilarious that when it comes to social media platform TikTok, politicians say they’re worried about user data and privacy. (“What would banning TikTok accomplish? Answer: Virtually nothing,” column, March 14)

This country has done so little to protect consumers that we see regular occurrences of data breaches taking place, with almost no consequences for the companies involved.

If politicians were so concerned about the safety and privacy of user data, they’d institute stricter privacy laws that more closely mimic what the European Union has. But you can’t sell ads if you don’t have access to user data.


As columnist Michael Hiltzik wrote, Facebook owner Meta is behind much of the anti-TikTok hysteria. This truly makes the effort to ban TikTok mere political theater.

Les Hartzman, Los Angeles


To the editor: As long as TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, the guardians of our open democracy can address this adversary as an external threat.

But once American billionaires take hold of the company, it will enjoy the protection of the 1st Amendment and all the rights and privileges that come with being a citizen. And sadly, people like Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be the first to ensure their insidious rights are protected.

I’ll take China this time.

John Goodman, Oak Park