““They are taking data from Americans, not keeping it safe, but what worries me more with TikTok is that this can be a propaganda tool.” ”
Those were the words of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., on Sunday, telling Fox News he will introduce a bill allowing the government to “ban or prohibit” certain foreign technology — including Chinese-owned TikTok.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Warner said the bill, co-sponsored by Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, would be introduced this week, in what would be the harshest government crackdown yet on a social-media app.
For years, U.S. officials have been worried about data-collection practices and privacy protections by TikTok’s parent company, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd.
Warner said he was concerned the popular video-sharing app, which has more than 100 million U.S. active users, could be used to spread Chinese propaganda through videos it recommends to users.
The bill, Warner, said, “would say, in terms of foreign technology coming into America, we’ve got to have a systematic approach to make sure we can ban or prohibit it when necessary.”
Last week, the Biden administration issued orders banning TikTok from government-issued mobile devices, while a bill that would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok advanced in the House. Canada and the European Union have also recently moved to ban TikTok from government-issued devices.
TikTok has denied the Chinese government could use the app to track U.S. citizens and maintains it is an independent company. China’s Foreign Ministry complained last week that the U.S. was “overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power to suppress other countries’ companies.” However, China has for years blocked American social-media apps, such as Twitter, Meta’s META, +6.14% Facebook and Instagram, and Alphabet’s GOOG, +1.85% YouTube.
Separately, TikTok announced last week it would update the app to impose a 60-minute daily screen-time limit for minors.
This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.