23 December 2019, Kathmandu
TikTok, a popular social media app, currently a trend among the youths, has been banned by the U.S. Navy on government-owned devices. The ban is applicable on all Navy-issued devices, and anyone who refuses to remove the app will be prohibited from accessing the Navy-Marine Corps intranet.
The Chinese Company ByteDance, who was recently ordered to be investigated by intelligence officials regarding the collection of potentially harmful data. The Navy referred to TikTok as a cybersecurity threat and ordered its troops to stop using the app to protect their personal information.
U.S. Senator Josh Hawley, in November, introduced a bill that was supposed to prevent the flow of data from America to China and other countries alike. According to Senator Hawley, the Chinese Communist party knows the whereabouts of any user they seek to look at based on the data TikTok provides to their intelligence department.
Hawley said Chinese companies are obliged to submit the data about Americans to the Chinese intelligence services that could pose cyber severe threats related to national security. In its defense, TikTok has repeatedly mentioned that any data it collects from its users aren’t stored in China and aren’t accustomed to Chinese law.
United States Government has been extra protective regarding China’s data collection. Previously a ban was imposed on Huawei, a Chinese mobile brand for similar reasons. Now, the U.S. Navy’s decision to ban TikTok, yet another Chinese product, has raised a few more questions.
TikTok currently has 500 million active users and nearly 1.5 billion downloads.