ByteDance’s TikTok app is highly known in many markets around the world. But the road to its development has not been plain sailing. Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, a spokesman for the U.S. Army, said in an interview with Military.com on December 30, 2019 that TikTok had been identified as a cyber threat. After the New Deal, U.S. Army soldiers will no longer be able to use TikTok on officially available mobile phones, even though they have advertised for recruitment through TikTok.
(Image via TheVerge)
In early December 2019, both the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense issued warnings about the TikTok application. The former warns soldiers not to install the app, and installed ones must also be removed from officially available devices.
The Defense Department also instructs employees to be wary of downloading apps, especially apps that may gain unusual permissions, and uninstalling apps such as TikTok to avoid exposure of personal information.
As early as October 2019, mPs called for an investigation into TikTok’s user data collection and content sharing policy.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is even considering whether to cancel ByteDance’s 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly app, which is also the starting point for TikTok.
In response to the U.S. allegations, TikTok said in a statement in October 2019 that it fully complies with the government’s content policy and will not remove it in the future.
The company stores U.S. user data locally, but also has backups in Singapore and is therefore not bound by the laws of the country.
Finally, on December 23rd ByteDance refuted a Bloomberg report that the company was seeking to sell its stake in TikTok because it faced pressure from US regulation.