The video-sharing application service TikTok is one of the most popular in the United States, especially with young adults. The service was in the news last week after Kellyanne Conway’s daughter Claudia used it to create anti-Donald Trump videos.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the website is owned by a foreign country, namely China. For that reason, there are fears that the foreign power could be using the site to mine personal information. During an Monday night Fox News interview, Mike Pompeo said the US could be looking to ban TikTok in the US.
The Secretary of State made the comments while speaking with Laura Ingraham. The host asked Pompeo about India’s recent decision to shut down apps based in China.
“You should know we’re taking this very seriously, we’re certainly looking at it,” he replied.
Pompeo continued, “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too, Laura. I don’t want to get out in front of the President but it’s something we’re looking at.”
The Secretary of State also claimed that users should download the app, “Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
In response, a TikTok spokesperson told Buzzfeed, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.