The U.S. Is Considering a TikTok Ban
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the government is "looking at" the app because of security concerns.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the United States government is "looking at" banning TikTok and other Chinese apps because of security concerns. India banned the popular app last month, and Australia is currently considering it as well. "With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right, too," Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham. "I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we're looking at."
He also added that he wouldn't recommend downloading TikTok unless "you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."
In a statement to CBS News, a spokesperson for TikTok denied Pompeo's characterization of the app. "TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S.," the spokesperson said. "We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."
Though the CEO is American, TikTok is owned by the Beijing-based tech company ByteDance. The company claims TikTok data for U.S. users is stored in the U.S., but skeptics point out that ByteDance, as a Chinese company, still has to comply with Chinese laws. TikTok has denied working with the Chinese government, and in March announced the creation of a "Transparency Center" to review company practices.