If you’re an employee of the US government and enjoy making and watching TikTok videos, we have some bad news for you.
The House Administration Committee (COA) has contacted staff to say they are no longer allowed to install the app on House Administration mobile endpoints.
“Due to the many security risks, the Office of Cyber Security believes that the TikTok mobile application poses a high risk to users,” the department said in an email to its staff.
Anyone working in the House of Commons needs to remove the app from their devices immediately or risk being contacted by the COA Cyber Security Office.
The ban will also soon be extended to other organizations within the U.S. government. The $1.66 trillion recent omnibus spending bill, now awaiting approval from President Biden, includes a more sweeping ban on all federally managed devices from installing the now-notorious app.
TikTok has recently gained enormous popularity and is now considered the number one social media platform in the world.However, it is owned and operated by the Chinese software company ByteDance, and given China’s privacydata management and human rights, it quickly drew scrutiny from the U.S. government.
As a result, back in 2020, former President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling TikTok a “threat” and banning US companies from using the app for transactions.
At the time, the Trump administration even tried to force the company to sell its U.S. operations to domestic buyers in an attempt to keep the data it generates local from possible leaks by the Chinese government.
While both the company and the Chinese government have denied any wrongdoing with the data, earlier this month ByteDance confirmed that its employees accessed user data belonging to journalists in an attempt to pinpoint who leaked a specific set of information.
Additionally, last summer, the company confirmed that Chinese employees had access to U.S. user data.
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