US Army Considers TikTok App as a Threat to National Security
The US government stated that army employees were banned from using the Chinese Tik Tok app on mobile devices. Otherwise, they will be disconnected from the Internet, if to believe the following statement:
“According to the military leadership, this social network, which is now gaining popularity in the whole world, could constitute a cyber threat to the armed forces of the United States. Those militaries that use government phones and have not uninstalled the TikTok application will be disconnected from the Internet of the US Army”.
Lawmakers have expressed concern that the application may be used to collect data from US citizens and poses a threat to national security. It may be forced to collaborate in the collection of Chinese reconnaissance data.
The TikTok app allows you to create a short 15-second video. The military sees it as a serious threat because neural networks read data about people and can be used by the Chinese government for military purposes.
This service began to cause distrust a long time ago. It has repeatedly received indictments over the theft of user data. There has been one scandal earlier. This is the reason that influenced the special services to conduct a thorough check of this service.
In May, a young girl named Misty Hong sued TikTok and accused the service of transferring her personal data to China. In a lawsuit, she claims that the service transferred her personal data to two platforms in China ‒ umeng.com, and bugly.qq.com. The first service belongs to the largest Chinese software developer Tencent. The second one is the Alibaba Group. She also says that Musical.ly (this application was merged with TikTok in August 2018) has theft data. Such information as location, age, phone numbers, and browsing histories, allegedly was sent to servers in China.
Like all other illegal actions, TikTok denies these accusations. They claim that they store the data of US citizens on servers within the country, and places backups in Singapore.
Since the United States began verification at the legislative level, the Chinese copyright holders began to take action.
The parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, is going to sell a controlling stake of its application to protect its assets.
The most likely option is the sale of TikTok controlling stake to financial investors. Previously, SoftBank Group Corp, Sequoia Capital, and Susquehanna International Group have already become investors. TikTok in the US also plans to rebrand and open its headquarters outside of China. Thus, TikTok tries to hide its “Chinese roots”!
But until the proceedings are not finished, USA militaries will stay with the current ‘TikTok banned‘ situation.