Tik Tok an extremely popular mobile app, which lets users share clips of themselves lip-syncing or dancing to popular music. Recently hitting more than a billion downloads, with millions of those in the US. Congress recently said they were concerned that the Chinese government could force ByteDance to turn over US user data and called the app a “counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore.” ByteDance being Tik Tok’s parent company, based in China.
Congress Expresses: “While the company has stated that TikTok does not operate in China and stores US user data in the US, ByteDance is still required to adhere to the laws of China,” the senators wrote. “Without an independent judiciary to review requests made by the Chinese government for data or other actions, there is no legal mechanism for Chinese companies to appeal if they disagree with a request.”
Tik Tok responded to the statement saying: “all US user data is stored in America with backup redundancy in Singapore.” The senators requested a congressional briefing on the intelligence community’s findings.
TikTok is no stranger to backlash over its handling of data, though that’s centered on the app’s popularity with teens and kids. “In February, TikTok paid $5.7 million to settle US Federal Trade Commission charges that it illegally collected personal information from children. The UK is also now reportedly examining how TikTok handles children’s data and whether it ensures child safety on its platform.” (CNET)