You’ve heard the songs on the radio and the choreographed dances have flooded your social media. But now some New York officials are concerned with the burgeoning social media app's origins in China.
State Senator Chris Jacobs introduced legislation that would ban people from downloading or using TikTok on state issued devices.
“On the surface TikTok appears to be a harmless tool for creating short videos with music when in reality it is a data mining instrument that violates our privacy and could threaten our security,” Jacobs said. “It is just too easy for the information it collects to be accessed by the oppressive Chinese government waging a fierce economic war against our state and our country.”
Jacobs is a candidate for Congress in western New York's 27th District.
TikTok has over 800 million active users users across the world and has quickly become one of the most used social apps globally.
It was first launched in 2016 in China by ByteDance. It wasn’t really until 2017 when TikTok merged with the app Musical.ly when it became a true success.
The app lets people create videos, upload and share them globally.
TikTok tracks user data such as IP addresses, location, browsing and search history, phone applications and file systems.
According to Jacobs's office, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, the State Department and the Transportation Security Administration, all ban their employees from using the app on government issued devices.
“The importance of protecting our privacy and maintaining our security dictates we take swift and effective action to limit TikTok’s reach into our public and private domains,” Jacobs said.