Get All Access for $5/mo

Senators Want to Ban TikTok From Government Phones The bill comes as TikTok looks to reassure U.S. officials.

By Karissa Bell

This story originally appeared on Engadget

SOPA Images | Getty Images via engadget

All federal government employees could soon be banned from downloading TikTok on work-issued smartphones. Senators Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Rick Scott (R-Florida) have introduced a bill that would do just that, claiming the social media app poses a national security threat.

If passed, the 'No TikTok on Government Devices Act,' would bar employees of the federal government from installing the short form video app on official phones. Though, it makes exceptions for research, investigative, and national security purposes.

"TikTok is owned by a Chinese company that includes Chinese Communist Party members on its board, and it is required by law to share user data with Beijing," Sen. Hawley said. "The company even admitted it collects user data while their app is running in the background – including the messages people send, pictures they share, their keystrokes and location data, you name it. As many of our federal agencies have already recognized, TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices."

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has raised concerns among US officials wary of the company's connection to the Chinese government. Nearly the entire US military has already banned the app from official devices.

The latest effort to limit TikTok comes one day after TikTok announced a new "transparency center" in order to help quell concerns about spying. The company hasn't disclosed details around how the center will operate, but says it will allow outside experts to review its policies and the app's source code.

"While we think the concerns are unfounded, we understand them and are continuing to further strengthen our safeguards while increasing our dialogue with lawmakers to help explain our policies," a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Branding

ChatGPT is Becoming More Human-Like. Here's How The Tool is Getting Smarter at Replicating Your Voice, Brand and Personality.

AI can be instrumental in building your brand and boosting awareness, but the right approach is critical. A custom GPT delivers tailored collateral based on your ethos, personality and unique positioning factors.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Is the AI Industry Consolidating? Hugging Face CEO Says More AI Entrepreneurs Are Looking to Be Acquired

Clément Delangue, the CEO of Hugging Face, a $4.5 billion startup, says he gets at least 10 acquisition requests a week and it's "increased quite a lot."

Business News

You Can Now Apply to Renew Your U.S. Passport Online — But There's a Catch

The U.S. State Department officially launched the beta program this week.

Business News

Sony Pictures Entertainment Purchases Struggling, Cult-Favorite Movie Theater Chain

Alamo Drafthouse originally emerged from bankruptcy in June 2021.