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A key US official suggested the government should shut down TikTok

File photo of Brendan Carr, one of the five commissioners of the US Federal Communications Commission (Jonathan Newton/REUTERS)

The United States federal government should take action to curb the online video platform TikToksaid one of the commissioners of the FCC of the United States on Tuesday in an interview of the news portal Axios.

“I don’t think there is any other way than prohibition,” he said. Brendan Carrof the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), citing the recent revelations about how TikTok Inc and its Chinese parent ByteDance handle US user data.

According to an investigation by the American magazine Forbes, ByteDance – the technology giant based in China and owner of TikTok – planned to use the popular social network to monitor the location of some US citizens of whom it had an interest in spying or having specific information about them.

According to the article of Forbes, the Chinese company conducts regular investigations of its TikTok and ByteDance employees to determine if there is a leak of confidential information. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew ordered collect information from your employees and those who had even left the company. And ByteDance, using an auditing system known as “Green Channel”, collected data from US employees and former employees and brought this information to Beijing.

ByteDance, the China-based tech giant and owner of TikTok (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)
ByteDance, the China-based tech giant and owner of TikTok (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

The Chinese company has not been clear with US authorities about its practices and has not answered questions about how its internal audit team operates. In addition, it indicates that access to certain information of US users will be “limited only to authorized personnel, in accordance with protocols agreed with the US Government.”

Given the concern of Washington, Tik Tok promoted the call “Texas Project”to stop the flow of information from the North American country to the Asian one.

In a hearing in the US Congress in September, the company assured that it would reach an agreement that could satisfy “all the concerns of National security” about the app. However, some senators have been skeptical.

In July, they leaked recordings of more than 80 Tik Tok meetings, which revealed that company employees in China accessed the private information of US users. This despite the fact that, according to previous statements by the company about its privacy policy, the data of users from the United States (USA) are stored in their country of origin and not in the Asian country.

At the moment, ByteDance’s role, its commitment, to limit China-based employees’ access to US TikTok user data is unclear.

It should be remembered that the former US president donald trump tried to curb the use of the application in the country, due to the suspicion that ByteDance accessed the information of American citizens and shared it with the Chinese government.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese giant ByteDance, has the United States as its largest market (REUTERS / Florence Lo)
TikTok, owned by the Chinese giant ByteDance, has the United States as its largest market (REUTERS / Florence Lo)

At the moment, US lawmakers and TikTok are working out a plan, according to which the short-form video app would changes to the security of your data and its governance without requiring its parent company to sell it.

TikTok and managing Joe Biden they have drafted a preliminary agreement to resolve national security concerns, but are still deciding on a possible deal.

The popular platform has long faced scrutiny from US lawmakers, who have questioned the Chinese-owned app’s protection of user data.

TikTok is being evaluated by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United Statesan interagency government review board that assesses the risks of foreign investments to the national security of the United States.

More than two years ago a US national security panel ordered parent company ByteDance to get rid of TikTok out of fear that US user data could be passed to China’s communist government.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps in the world, with over a billion active users worldwide, with the United States as its largest market.

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