Military examines TikTok safety considerations after Schumer’s knowledge warning

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WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Information) – The U.S. Military is enterprise a safety evaluation of China-owned social media platform TikTok after a Democratic lawmaker raised nationwide safety considerations over the app’s dealing with of person knowledge, Military Secretary Ryan McCarthy stated on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: An individual holds a smartphone with Tik Tok brand displayed on this image illustration taken November 7, 2019. Information/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Picture

Talking to reporters at an occasion on the American Enterprise Institute suppose tank, McCarthy stated he ordered the evaluation after the highest Democrat within the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer, requested him to research the attainable dangers within the navy’s use of the favored video app for recruiting American youngsters.

“Nationwide safety specialists have raised considerations about TikTok’s assortment and dealing with of person knowledge, together with person content material and communications, IP addresses, location-related knowledge, metadata, and different delicate private info,” Schumer wrote in a Nov. 7 letter to McCarthy.

Schumer stated he was particularly involved about Chinese language legal guidelines requiring home firms “to assist and cooperate with intelligence work managed by the Chinese language Communist Get together.”

The Committee on International Funding in the USA (CFIUS) has launched a nationwide safety evaluate of TikTok proprietor Beijing ByteDance Expertise Co’s $1 billion acquisition of U.S. social media app Musical.ly.

TikTok didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The corporate has beforehand emphasised its independence from China however has didn’t assuage congressional considerations concerning the safety of the private knowledge of U.S. residents who use the platform and whether or not content material on the platform is topic to any censorship from Beijing.

In a Nov. 5 weblog submit, TikTok’s U.S. normal supervisor, Vanessa Pappas, stated that the corporate’s knowledge facilities “are positioned solely exterior of China.” She stated U.S. person knowledge is saved in the USA, with backup redundancy in Singapore.

ByteDance is one in every of China’s fastest-growing startups. About 60% of TikTok’s 26.5 million month-to-month energetic customers in the USA are between the ages of 16 and 24, the corporate stated this yr.

Earlier this yr, Schumer additionally referred to as on the FBI and the Federal Commerce Fee to conduct a nationwide safety and privateness investigation into FaceApp, a face-editing photograph app developed in Russia.

The potential for the sharing of military info via using apps was highlighted after researchers present in 2018 that fitness-tracking app Strava was inadvertently exposing navy posts and different delicate websites.

In 2017, the Military ordered its members to cease utilizing drones made by Chinese language producer SZ DJI Expertise Co Ltd due to “cyber vulnerabilities” within the merchandise.

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in San Francisco and Idrees Ali in Washington; Modifying by Matthew Lewis