What just happened? Once again, the incredibly popular app TikTok has come under fire from US politicians over allegations that the Chinese are using it to spy on US users. The bipartisan warning comes as the Biden administration weighs a deal that would allow the app to continue operating in the United States.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner warned of the dangers posed by TikTok, which has more than 138 million active users in the US, calling it a “significant threat”. The Virginia Democrat endorsed Donald Trump’s moves to ban the app in 2020. The former president signed an executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat in the US, but Biden replaced and canceled the orders in June. The new Biden order directs the Commerce Department to review applications linked to foreign adversaries.
“Well, I think Donald Trump was right,” Warner told Shannon Bream on Fox News Sunday. “So if you’re a parent, and you have a child on TikTok, I would be very concerned. All of that data that your child enters and receives is stored somewhere in Beijing.”
Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, was equally damning. “It’s not just the content you upload to TikTok, it’s all the data on your phone, other apps, all your personal information, even your facial photos, even when your eyes are looking at your phone,” he said. on the Fox show, adding that TikTok is “one of the biggest surveillance programs ever, especially on young people in America.”
– Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) November 14, 2022
There have been increasing calls for tougher action against TikTok recently. Earlier this month, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr He said Implement a national ban from the Apple app and Google Play stores. He said there was very little confidence about the company’s ability to properly handle data from users in the United States.
– Lord Bethell (JimBethell) November 17, 2022
Meanwhile, as noted before bloombergRepublican lawmakers Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin said they are introducing legislation to ban the use of TikTok in the United States. There was also a warning from FBI Director Christopher Wray to a House Committee about Chinese government access to users’ data.
The Biden administration is still considering a proposal that would allow TikTok to continue operating in the United States. It would involve routing user traffic in the US through servers maintained by Oracle, which would also audit the application’s algorithms. Additionally, TikTok claims to be working on a project that will isolate data from US users so that it can only be viewed by employees in the US.