Lawmakers Want to Ban TikTok

Allyson Lin, Copy Editor

According to The New York Times, lLawmakers have expressed concerns that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, may endanger user data.

In recent months, lawmakers have increased their efforts to restrict access to TikTok. The White House said on February 26 , to federal officials that they have 30 days to delete the app from their government devices. A number of other governments- including Britain, Canada, and New Zealand’s Parliament.

The push to ban is mostly led by Republican lawmakers. Texas Republican Representative Michael McCaul, who is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that sponsored the TikTok ban bill, has said, “Anyone with TikTok downloaded on their device has given the CCP a backdoor to all their personal information. It’s a spy balloon into their phone.” 

The Biden Administration threatens to ban it nationwide if the parent company promised to sell its stake, according to Time.

Additionally, the app’s chief executive, Shou Chew, was asked about the app and China’s potential influence in roughly five hours of testimony. 

India has actually banned the social media app in mid-2020 that cost ByteDance one of its biggest profit producers. The government tracked down 59 Chinese-owned apps and claimed that they were sending information outside of India. 

Anton Dahbura, executive director of Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute, stated:, “The biggest issue is that users are largely unaware of the true risks of foreign governments using their user data. People would be shocked about how our trails of breadcrumbs from our mobile devices and other platforms can be used in different ways that can be a threat to national security.”

National Security has been raised ever since an Air National Guard member leaked classified military documents about the war in Ukraine. 

However, TikTok is adamant that “If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing”, a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to TIME.