WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director Chris Wray raised national security concerns about TikTok, warning Friday that the popular video-sharing app is controlled by people who “don’t agree with us.” values” in the hands of the Chinese government.
Ray said the FBI is concerned about the ability of the Chinese to control the app’s recommendation algorithm, “which allows them to manipulate content and, if they choose, use it for influence operations.” He also asserted that China could use the app The program collects data on its users, which can be used for traditional espionage.
“The fact that all of these things are in the hands of an administration that doesn’t share our values and that has a mission that’s very different from America’s best interests should concern us,” said Gerald R. Ford, public policy at the University of Michigan. The Academy spoke to the audience.
Those concerns are similar to those he raised during an appearance before Congress last month. They voiced their opinion in an ongoing conversation in Washington about the app.
Concerned about China’s influence on TikTok, the Trump administration threatened in 2020 to ban the app in the United States and pressured ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company. U.S. officials and the company are currently negotiating a deal that could address U.S. security concerns, a process Wray said U.S. government agencies are working on.
“As Director Wray has stated previously, the FBI’s input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the U.S. government,” TikTok spokesman Brooke Oberwetter said in an emailed statement. We cannot comment on the specifics of these classified discussions, but we believe we are on a path that fully addresses all legitimate U.S. national security concerns and have already made significant progress toward implementing these solutions.”
TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance. TikTok’s statement on Friday pointed out that ByteDance is a private company and that “TikTok Inc., which provides TikTok services in the United States, is an American company subject to the laws of the United States.”
At a Senate hearing in September, TikTok Chief Operating Officer Vanessa Pappas said in response to questions from members of both parties that the company protects all data on U.S. users and that Chinese government officials do not have access to it .
“We’ll never share data, period,” Pappas said.
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