The US army bans TikTok for soldiers after receiving guidelines from the Pentagon, where TikTok was labeled as a ‘cyber threat’.
Like the Navy, the US Army also called upon soldiers to delete the TikTok app from their phones due to potential threats to the national interest. There has always been a sense of uneasiness among American government officials regarding the use of the China-based social media platform TikTok.
Previously, there was a conversation happening about banning TikTok for everyone in the US. The suspicion around the app is due to rumors about soliciting and using the personal data of American citizens.
In mid-december, the Navy came forward to ban the use of the app for all officials on all government-issued phones. The notice even said that anyone caught using the app would be banned from the Navy intranet.
An Army spokesperson Lt. Col Robin L. Ochoa said, “There was a Cyber Awareness Message sent out on 16 December identifying TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use.” The message further directed individuals to be cautious while downloading different applications and receiving messages from unknown numbers.
Is it necessary for the Army to ban TikTok?
Many government officials like Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican have highlighted the importance of assessing the national security risks posed by TikTok.
Many have argued that since TikTok’s parent company- ByteDance- is based in China there is a threat that the Chinese Communist Party will force the tech company officials to share the personal data of American citizens. Lawmakers have further enforced that there is no legal mechanism in place in China that stops the party from demanding data from the tech giants.
TikTok has responded to these queries by saying that it stores all data gathered in the US and Singapore. It has also said that its data is not subjected to Chinese law. The issue is that TikTok’s assurances are of no consequence, as the threat of data breach still looms over the US.