On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps over national security concerns. After India and Australia banned the app, the U.S. is considering to follow suite.
During an interview with Fox News Laura Ingraham, Pompeo said “we’re certainly looking at it” when it comes to banning TikTok and other Chinese apps. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, 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.”
Pompeo said he doesn’t recommend downloading the app unless “you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
A spokesperson for TikTok denied Pompeo’s comments in a statement to CBS News saying, “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.”
TikTok’s policies said the app collects user data such as IP addresses, location and information about devices. The company said it stores data from American users in the U.S. TikTok has repeatedly denied it works with China and said they are not influenced by any foreign government, however TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and would still have to comply with Chinese laws.
TikTok is the most downloaded App on the Apple App Store and is the 9th most popular social media app.