Trump looking to ban TikTok in U.S. due to security concerns
U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that TikTok would be banned unless an American company buys the platform by Sept. 15. He said there is a security concern with the app popular for making short videos.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter concerns of data mining by Chinese authorities are legitimate.
“The Biden campaign has banned [the app] from their phones, and several countries, including India, are considering banning as well,” he said in his Aug. 4 video on Twitter. “Last year the Peterson Institute called TikTok a national security threat.”
Rubio said the problem is not the 15-second videos the app is known for, but allegations that TikTok is spyware that collects personal data from more than a billion people.
“It collects the places you go, the people you know and the things you’re interested in,” he said. “It can collect your face recognition, fingerprints, your health, your relationships, and that data is worth more than gold.”
Rubio said TikTok, like other China-based companies, has to share its data with the government and the founder of the app’s parent company intended to cooperate more fully with the Chinese Communist Party.
One way to avoid security problems with China is for an American company to acquire parts of the platform, Trump said during an Aug. 3 media conference.
He discussed the possibility of negotiations between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.
Trump said it’s easier to buy the entire app than just 30 per cent in order to avoid complicacy and confusion.
One of his conditions is a very substantial portion of that price is going to come into the Treasury of the United States.
“We’re making it possible for this deal to happen right now, they [China] don’t have any rights unless we give it to them,” Trump said. “So if we’re going to give them the rights then it has to come into this country.”
Microsoft, or other American companies, have until Sept. 15 to buy the app and work out a deal, he said.
TikTok’s U.S. general manager Vanessa Pappas said in a video on Twitter the company is not planning on going anywhere.
“TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas and connect with people across different backgrounds,” she said.
Pappas thanked TikTok users and said they were planning to provide more than 10,000 Americans with jobs over the next three years.
“When it comes to safety and security we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do,” Pappas said.