In a letter to the Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, Senior Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton were of the opinion that TikTok’s owner, Bytedance, could be coerced into sharing user’s personal information with Chinese intelligence.
According to them, this could also allow Beijing’s spies to infiltrate users’ smartphones and computers, as Huawei has previously been accused of doing.
“With over 110 million downloads in the US alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore,” they said.
They also observed that TikTok collects a significant amount of data from its users.
However, TikTok has tried to distance itself from China in the past, saying that they are “not influenced by any foreign government, including the Chinese government”. They also brought to attention that their data centers are located outside of China and “none of our data is subject to Chinese law”. They also denied removing any content that would be sensitive to the Chinese government.
However, it is the senators concern that the app could also be used to influence voters in next year’s US elections.
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