Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning the use of eight Chinese apps, namely Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office.
The EO says that the apps can track users and capture personal data –
Just like, say, Facebook or Fox News or any other American app.
But Trump doesn’t like it that China is collecting that data because, basically, China bad. And, realistically, that is hard to argue with.
Part of the problem is that users “over share”.
Another part of the problem is that users opt for convenience over security and that means that these apps – including all of the American apps – can vacuum up an amazing amount of data that lives on most user’s phones.
Consider this. The last time YOU installed an app on your phone it probably asked for some permissions. Did you consider whether that app really needed those permissions? Almost no one else does either.
Some how Trump ties what these apps are doing to the Anthem and Office of Personnel Management breaches. I guess in the sense that all of those desire to collect your data – just like Twitter does – that is true. I am sure that even though Trump hates Twitter, he would hate it even more if it was not financially viable and disappeared. Therefore, if they have to harvest your data without any real permission – yes you can disagree, but if you do, they will delete your account, that is okay.
The basic difference here is not WHAT is being done, but rather WHO is doing it. All apps collect, use and monetize your data. Who are the good guys is a little less clear.
The order doesn’t take effect for 45 days, so likely it will be up to the next administration to figure out what to do.
Personally, I would be fine if half of the apps on the Apple and Android stores just went poof. No, actually 90% would be a good number to banish. I would not miss them at all. Just my opinion. Credit: The Register