TikTok is accused of being a major security risk by yet another US government official
Republican senator Josh Hawley is the next senator considering a ban which will restrain all federal employees from using TikTok on government issued devices, over the allegations of the company’s relations to the Chinese government. ByteDance, which bought the American social media app Musical.ly back in 2017 and renamed it to TikTok, is a Chinese company subject to Chinese laws, and China is mainly considered by the US as a threat to free speech, privacy and security.
Senator Hawley stated that federal employees’ usage of the app is a major security risk as it is collecting large amounts of data and is required to share it with the Chinese government.
However, the senator did not disclose whether he had any support for this legislation and for the moment it’s unclear when it will be introduced.
Nevertheless, his proposal shows that US lawmakers are getting progressively more concerned over the reach of the Chinese government on American citizens. More than half of TikTok’s audience are young people between the ages of 16 and 24 and although the company has stated that American user data is stored within the United States, lawmakers are skeptical about the communist party’s involvement in the company’s business.
In order to respond to the allegations of being a security threat, a TikTok spokesman said on Wednesday that the company believes this opinion is unfounded, but it understands the concerns and is working to better explain its policies to US lawmakers.