Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Monday that the US may consider banning TikTok


United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned Monday that the United States is considering banning Chinese social media applications due to concerns over national security (Fox News). Special attention has been paid to TikTok, a popular app owned by the Beijing startup ByteDance, which was the most downloaded app in Apple’s iOS App Store for Q1 2019 and has recorded over 1.5 billion downloads on the App Store and Google Play in the last 18 months (Oberlo). ~

National security concerns have arisen in other countries because of these applications’ ties to China, and possible ties to the Chinese government (CBS). TikTok and other Chinese apps have recently been banned in India, due to national cybersecurity concerns, which some have said may be related to rising tensions along the Himalayan border between India and China (CBS). According to the Herald Sun, Australia is also noted to be considering banning the app due to alleged data harvesting and links to the Chinese government. ~

TikTok representatives have worked to cool concerns, having previously stated that TikTok operates separately from ByteDance and stores all of its data outside China; US user data is specifically stored within the States, with backup copies stored in Singapore (CNN). TikTok claims that data will not be subject to Chinese law because of where it is stored, while critics suggest that their parent company still is subject to Chinese law, meaning data may still be at risk (CBS). According to Pompeo, US Government officials are concerned that user data has been or could be harvested by officials within the Chinese Communist Party, and would therefore be a national security concern. ~

Article: Daniel England

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