ban TikTok

US Army Bans TikTok for Soldiers on Work Mobile Phones

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Increasingly Popular TikTok: A Rising Concern

Owned by a Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has managed to widen its wings all over the world in a short span of time. This app allows it’s more than half a billion users worldwide to post short, self-edited videos. It attracts mainly the teenage users by the ability to make 15 second videos such as lip syncing to songs and comedy skits. But recently, it has come into the headlines because the US Army has banned its use on soldiers’ work mobile phones for security reasons. “TikTok is considered a cyber-threat.” US Army spokeswoman Lt Col Robin Ochoa told the US media. Col Ochoa told that the army had advised its personnel to stop using this app on government owned phones from the middle of December. Similar move is followed by US Navy also. As the military cannot prevent the use of private phones, the Department of Defence recently issued guidance for the employees “to be aware of the applications you download.”

Targeting the Possible Threats

Several lawmakers and experts have expressed their concerns about the app being used to collect US citizens’ data. This seems to be a big risk for national security because the data can be used by the intelligence agencies of countries such as China. An investigation was called by the Democratic and Republic senators in October regarding the national security risks posed by TikTok. “TikTok can also be used for a foreign influence campaign similar to that carried out on social media in 2016 US Presidential election.” said Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton. Moreover, TikTok also came in its defence saying that the user US data was located outside China and was not subject to Chinese law and it also had strong policies about cyber security and data privacy. TikTok also hired a company to carry out an audit to make sure that users’ data is not sent to China using third party apps that can plug into the app.



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