Years of allegations over Chinese data harvesting may be true as TikTok has admitted the country can access Western user data.
- TikTok has admitted that it allows Chinese staff to access European user data, Fortune reports.
- The news comes as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) head is calling for the app to be banned in the U.S.
- Concerns have been raised for years about Tik Tok and its parent company ByteDance’s connections to major figures in the Chinese government.
- TikTok is one of the largest social-media apps in the world with over one billion users.
- The company has claimed that it is attempting to internally shift data governance and access as it opens up new storage facilities in Ireland. The company is also in negotiations with the U.S. government as to how it can continue to operate with respect to avoiding data harvesting.
Why it’s News
The news may yet push forward U.S. attempts to ban TikTok from the country following condemnations from across the political aisle.
“TikTok’s aggressive harvesting of user data—and suspicions of its Chinese parent company ByteDance Ltd.—have fueled bipartisan alarm about the amount of information on US users that may be funneled to Beijing,” says Bloomberg.
As we previously reported, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is calling for a complete ban of TikTok in the U.S. Numerous allegations have emerged that Chinese-government-connected figures working for the company and its sister company ByteDance have illegally accessed user data from U.S. accounts.
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban. [There is no situation] in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party],” says Carr.
Backing Up a Bit
Former President Donald Trump spoke out against the dangers of the app during his term and threatened to ban it, although President Joe Biden rescinded the threat. The app has received criticism from both major political parties.
“TikTok is currently in negotiations with CFIUS, an interagency committee that conducts national security reviews of foreign companies’ deals, to determine how it can remain operational in the United States,” says Fortune.