TikTok banned on phones of US state agencies

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular social networks, and the first of Chinese origin to “catch on” with Western audiences. Over the past few years, TikTok has faced multiple controversies and even the threat of blocking in the US, and now the US House of Representatives bans the use of the app on the official phones of members of the House committee.

TikTok app deemed “dangerous”

There have been multiple unfavorable reports about the way TikTok collects and uses user information. In fact, it was recently discovered that TikTok employees in China accessed the personal data of American journalists. The company says they were fired, but they probably wouldn’t have admitted their involvement or even the possibility of accessing this data if it couldn’t be proven.

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The U.S. House of Representatives doesn’t want to risk such situations, where political actors in China could access its members’ data. Thus, the TikTok app is completely banned on devices provided by the US state agency from now on.

The House administration’s cybersecurity office says TikTok poses “a high risk to users.” That’s because ByteDance, the Chinese parent company, doesn’t provide transparency in how it uses data collected from users.

TikTok representatives further claim that this is a political decision and that such steps are not necessary. Besides, the social network would not store US user data in China, but locally on US servers. This, however, only happened after Donald Trump, at the time US president, threatened to block TikTok if the Chinese developer did not partner with Oracle to store the data locally.

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Europe doesn’t seem to be as concerned about TikTok’s activity as the US, as there are no such discussions at EU level.

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