Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis thinks the Chinese-owned app TikTok is a “security risk” and is in favor of banning it.
“I would. I think so. I think it’s a security risk, they are harvesting so much data on our citizens,” DeSantis replied when asked if he would ban the app during an exclusive interview with Fox Nation host Piers Morgan.
“There’s a whole bunch of other apps and stuff that are out there, and honestly Piers, I’ve got young kids. I don’t want our kids on some of this stuff,” DeSantis added. “It’s not healthy for them.”
The TikTok in China is sanitized, it’s more wholesome. Here they’re putting in a lot of bad stuff too.
So, I think it’s had a corrosive impact but that in of itself wouldn’t be enough, what’s enough though is how they’re harvesting that to use against the American people.
The Florida House Choice and Innovation Subcommittee earlier this month unanimously passed a bill relating to TikTok, Florida’s Voice reported. The bill would “prohibit the use of the TikTok platform or and successor application or service on district-owned devices or as a platform to communicate or promote any district school, school-sponsored club, extracurricular organization, or athletic team.”
TikTok faces bipartisan scrutiny at both the state and federal level. More than 30 states, led by Democratic and Republican governors alike, have taken action to ban the app on some or all state-issued devices and networks, The Daily Signal reported.
Shou Zi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok, appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday for a hearing titled “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms.”
Chew made four commitments to the committee and to the app’s users during his testimony.
“No. 1, we will keep safety, particularly for teenagers, as a top priority for us. No. 2, we will firewall protected U.S. data from unwanted foreign access,” Chew said in his opening statement. “No. 3, TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government.”
“And fourth, we will be transparent, and we will give access to third-party independent monitors to remain accountable for our commitments,” he said.
Chew also noted that ByteDance, which is TikTok’s parent company, “is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government.”
“It’s a private company,” Chew told the committee in his opening remarks. “60% of the company is owned by global institutional investors. 20% is owned by the founder, and 20% owned by employees around the world.”
“ByteDance has five board members. Three of them are American,” he continued. “Now, TikTok itself is not available in mainland China. We’re headquartered in Los Angeles and in Singapore, and we have 7,000 employees in the U.S. today.”
Kara Frederick, director of the Tech Policy Center at The Heritage Foundation, said that “TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is subject to the People’s Republic of China’s laws and policies that permit the CCP’s access to the data ByteDance collects.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“One such policy is China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, which compels private entities and individuals to cooperate with ‘state intelligence work,'” Frederick wrote in a recent report titled “TikTok Generation: A CCP Official in Every Pocket.”
“Specifically, Article 7 of this law declares that ‘any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work according to the law.'”
TikTok did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment.
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