For some time now government officials have had concerns over the popular video-sharing app TikTok’s ability to harness information from United States citizens and share that information with the Chinese government. The Chinese company ByteDance, which owns TikTok, can and has been sharing user information with the Chinese government and has the ability to alter feed algorithms for espionage and political influence.
U.S. officials have been negotiating with ByteDance for two years now to determine means of preventing the free flow of information to Chinese authorities. Some Biden administration officials have proposed the solution of a forced sale of the U.S. operations of TikTok.
Both the Pentagon and the Justice Department have stated that a separation of the popular app from its parent company ByteDance is the only solution for ensuring that the data is not misused. However, representatives from the Treasury Department are concerned that the motion will be blocked in the courts, and this has led many to begin seeking alternative solutions to the problem.
This is not the first time that the popular app was put under pressure by U.S. authorities. Former president Donald Trump attempted to have TikTok purchased by a U.S. company as well as briefly attempted to have the app banned from the United States, both attempts were unsuccessful.
Source: Wall Street Journal