A top Democrat senator conceded that former President Donald Trump was right about banning TikTok and warned parents about the Chinese-owned social media app.
“I think Donald Trump was right. I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News. “So, if you’re a parent, and you’ve got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned. All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.”
Warner joins a list of U.S. officials who have issued warnings about TikTok, owned by ByteDance. Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr recently urged regulators to ban the app in the United States amid concerns that ByteDance has worked with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to censor content and gather data on the app’s users.
“It’s not just the content you upload to TikTok but all the data on your phone, other apps, all your personal information, even facial imagery, even where your eyes are looking on your phone,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) told Fox News on Sunday. The app is “one of the most massive surveillance programs ever, especially on America’s young people,” he added.
Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that TikTok is part of the CCP’s strategy to gather data on individuals worldwide.
“We do have national security concerns, obviously from the FBI’s end, about TikTok,” Wray said during a testimony to Congress last week. “They include the possibility that the [CCP] could use it to control data collection on millions of users, or control the recommendation algorithm which could be used for influence operations if they so choose, or to control software on millions of devices.”
Under the Trump administration, the former president signed an executive order to impose broad sanctions on TikTok and ByteDance. It had attempted to bar any transactions between ByteDance and Americans over national security concerns.
But about a year later, President Joe Biden rescinded Trump’s executive order, although he acknowledged that TikTok and Chinese app WeChat can “access and capture vast swathes of information from users.” TikTok is heavily used by younger people and even teenagers.
“This data collection threatens to provide foreign adversaries with access to that information,” Biden said at the time, drawing criticism from some members of Congress.
A spokesperson for TikTok, in response to Carr’s statement, told ABC News earlier this month that he “has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner.”
“We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the U.S. Government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns,” the spokesperson continued.
From The Epoch Times