TikTok Facing Renewed Scrutiny And Bans

(USNewsMag.com) – In August of 2020, the popular social media app TikTok faced an uncertain future. At the time, President Donald Trump had threatened to ban the app if it did not find a US buyer. He cited grave security threats due to the app’s automatic collection of large amounts of personal data and the fact that as a Chinese-owned company operating out of China, the Chinese Communist Party could have access to all the information collected at any given time.

When the news of a possible ban first broke, Trump was accused of wanting to ban the app as retaliation for a stunt that saw TikTok users sign up for free tickets to his event and then not show up, leaving him with a much smaller crowd than expected.

Years later, security concerns surrounding TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance continue to grow. Wells Fargo has banned it from employees’ work devices. A growing list of governors have banned the app from state devices, including Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and South Dakota. In the final days of 2022, the Senate passed a bill that would ban TikTok from all federal devices. A bipartisan bill could see the platform banned in the United States entirely.

Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut, told NBC’s “Meet The Press Now” on Wednesday, December 29th that TikTok is “a national security threat” because it is a Chinese company and the CCP can demand information at any time. He clarified that this is true of “any company that is Chinese-owned.”

Earlier in the year, podcaster Joe Rogan caused a stir when he discussed TikTok and the amount of data it has access to unbeknownst to most users. He read items from the Terms of Service which appear to indicate that users give the company access to personally identifying information, and even potentially their keystrokes outside of the app itself.

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