Legislators Want to Block TikTok From Government Phones

Yes, there's an actual ‘‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act’’

Why It Matters:

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social content sharing apps in the country, but it's also owned by a Chinese company. The U.S.'s security concerns are slamming up against legislators and government workers' dreams of becoming "TikTok Famous."

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Senators Rick Scott and Josh Hawley are not interested in whether or not government workers can win at the Flip the Switch Challenge. They just submitted a bill called ‘‘No TikTok on Government Devices Act," that would seek to bar the social app from all government-supplied devices and prevent Federal employees from downloading and using the video-sharing app.

TikTok's parent is the problem. TikTok is owned by the Chinese-based Bytedance and China does have a recent history of trying to hack U.S. companies. In a tweet announcing the bill, Sen. Hawley wrote, "TikTok collects location data, search history, keystrokes & more - it has no place on govt devices."

China want this to work. The TikTok U.S. citizens use is not the same app they use in China, which is called Douyin. In fact, the data between the apps is completely separate.

TikTok collects location data, search history, keystrokes & more - it has no place on govt devices.

It's business. Brands and advertisers have started to embrace TikTok, as have mass media (The Washington Post has a very popular account) and popular culture. Top TikTokers are regularly featured on TV. In addition, TikTok has infiltrated all walks of life, and after years of being primarily an app for tweens and teens (it started life as Music.ly), all generations have embraced the app and regularly engage in the "challenges."

Bottom line: In this age of Coronavirus concerns, it's unlikely Hawley's bill will get much attention. However, it may eventually make its way through the legislature and to the President's desk. There is, though, no indication that Trump has ever TikToked.

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