If you use social media — and it’s 2019, so chances are you do — then you have seen videos from users of the TikTok app. However, anyone who uses the popular Chinese-owned app may want to use more caution regarding the information they provide.
Recently, United States Senators sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire asking him to investigate what type of “national security risk” the app poses.
“Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings,” a letter from Senator Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton read, according to the New York Post.
TikTok is based in Beijing and has been downloaded over 110 million times in the United States.
Senator Schumer added: “[TikTok is] owned by a Beijing-based tech company. It’s required to adhere to Chinese law. That means it can be compelled to cooperate with intelligence work controlled by China’s Communist Party.”
TikTok's been downloaded OVER 110M TIMES in the US
It’s owned by a Beijing-based tech company
It's required to adhere to Chinese law
That means it can be compelled to cooperate with intelligence work controlled by China's Communist Partyhttps://t.co/qB04rAVeY3
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) October 24, 2019
The company, however, claims that its servers are based out of China and that they are committed to transparency for its users. The app is also not available within China.
“At TikTok, we take these issues incredibly seriously as well. We are committed to transparency and accountability in how we support our TikTok users in the US and around the world,” the statement from TikTok read. “TikTok does not remove content based on sensitivities related to China. We have never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content and we would not do so if asked. Period.”
TikTok was first launched in 2017 and is available for download on iOS and Android devices. Earlier this year, TikTok hit one billion downloads globally with the app available in over 150 markets and 75 languages.