TikTok has been in the news recently because of concerns brought forward by many countries regarding national security threats that the app might be posing. ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is a Beijing based internet company. It has become a common belief that users’ data is being transferred to the Chinese community party through the app, which becomes a threat to the users’ privacy and security.
India has recently banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, and now the US government is also looking towards banning the app in the country as reported by sources. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has suggested that the government take this very seriously after he was asked if the US should be considering a ban on Chinese apps, especially TikTok.
In a very clear statement presented in the interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. Pompeo has said that “Concerning Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura.” It shows how to keep the US government might be on taking on this step forward.
In their defense, a TikTok spokesperson has said that “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US.”Source
It has come after Pompeo’s interview, where it was assured that the app only wishes to expand its user base with great user experience. No data has been shared with the Chinese government as it was pointed out.
The tension between China and the US has constantly been increasing, and the questions on whether the US would be taking similar initiative like India comes from the same. First, it was the claim for Coronavirus, and now the tensions stem from issues like national security, trade, and technology.
TikTok has also been constantly scrutinizing US politicians’ scrutiny because it poses a threat to national security, considering its clear ties to China. In a way, the company is alleged to comply with the control that the Communist Party of China exercises. It comes even after TikTok has repeatedly mentioned that their operation is separate from its parent company.
The short-form video content app has tried to solidify its claim of separate operations by mentioning that all the data centers that they have are not located in China, which exempts them from any compliance with the Chinese laws. It is also claimed that users’ data is being stored in the US while a backup is maintained in Singapore.
TikTok has been the first Chinese app to gain popularity across the globe, which is clear from the 315 million downloads it had in the first three months from the launch. Even in the US, the app holds exploding popularity as the downloads seem to grow every moment. Many national security concerns have also been termed unfounded by a CNN spokesperson.