US House of Representatives Bans TikTok, Citing Security Risks
The US House of Representatives has recently issued a directive ordering the deletion of TikTok from all House-issued mobile phones. According to an internal memo obtained by NBC News, this move was made due to security concerns surrounding the Chinese parent company ByteDance, which is believed to have little transparency in terms of handling user data.
This decision comes as no surprise given that numerous other government agencies, such as the Pentagon and State Department, have already banned their employees from using TikTok on official devices. In addition, several countries, including India and Australia, have also taken similar measures against the social media app due to its close ties with China.
The CAO’s Office of Cybersecurity noted that it views TikTok as “high risk” for users because its opaque data policies mean that there is no guarantee about how user information might be handled by ByteDance. With this in mind, it makes sense why lawmakers would want to take a hard stance against any potential risks associated with having this app installed on devices used for official business.
As per the memo sent out by Catherine L Szpindor, Chief Administrative Officer of the House, staff must delete any existing copies of TikTok present on their devices within two weeks or face consequences if they fail to do so. On top of this, downloading the app onto any new device going forward will also be prohibited under these new rules.
This move serves as another reminder that we need more transparency when it comes to how our personal data may be collected and shared online - especially when it comes from a country like China which does not have strong privacy laws like those found in most Western countries.. It remains unclear whether other governments will follow suit, but for now, at least one branch has taken steps towards protecting its users' safety and privacy online.