The Beijing-based company ByteDance released the TikTok app more than three years ago, offering an interactive way for users to edit and share videos. Available for Android, iOS, and Fire OS, the app became very popular in a short amount of time – its availability in 40 languages speaks for itself.
But regardless of how useful and popular TikTok is, not everyone can share the same thoughts. The United States Army considers it to be a threat, and therefore it decided to ban it while invoking security reasons.
It’s considered a cyber threat
It’s obvious that the military cannot stop the usage of TikTok on private phones, but the Department of Defense gave advice for the employees that they should be precautious of the applications they download.
However, the US Army spokeswoman, Lt Col Robin Ochoa, considers TikTok to be a cyber threat, and she claimed it loud and clear. Col Ochoa continues by saying that since December 2019, the Army had advised its personnel not to use the app anymore on smartphones owned by the government.
What’s the reasoning?
While the vast majority of people consider it all to be fine and dandy to edit and share videos via TikTok, the US Army has a whole different perspective. Some are even concerned that the app can be used for collecting US citizens’ data and using them in an unwanted way. This means a major risk to national security because TikTok could be forced to co-operate in Chinese intelligence gathering.
American senators even initiated in October 2019 an investigation by intelligence agencies, for debating the national security risks created by TikTok.
What TikTok developers have to say
The developers of the controversial app defended their creation by claiming the existence of strong policies regarding data privacy and cyber-security. They also claim that all the data of the US citizens cannot be subject to Chinese law, because it’s located outside of the Asian country.
It’s interesting to see how things will unfold in the future regarding the TikTok app, but one thing’s for sure: if you are reluctant when it comes to using the app, there are plenty of alternatives out there.