Tik-Tok Caught Sending User Phone Data and Contacts to China
Last October, Senator Marco Rubio (FL) called for the investigation of the most popular new app of 2019, Tik Tok. Earlier in the year, they were accused of censoring anti-communist videos, and then later they were accused of selling users' content. Rubio stated in a letter to the Treasury Department on Foreign Investments,
“These Chinese-owned apps are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Community Party”
Once people started looking into the app, more issues surfaced than just censorship, and a lawsuit was filed and made public by the end of 2019. The app was accused of selling data to the Chinese government. The permission users grant allows the app access to phone contacts, emails, camera, microphone, location and ip network data. Even when the app is closed, it still gathers this information and sends the data to China. According to the lawsuit, it also sells the data to advertising companies to reach users with targeted ads across different platforms. One woman found out that her phone's data was gathered and sold, even though she never finished setting up her Tik Tok account.
This month, senators Rick Scott (FL) and Josh Hawley (MO) proposed a bill to ban Tik Tok from government-issued phones due to the immense risk the app poses. Scott claimed that Tik Tok is a
“risk to our networks and a threat to our national security.
The bill proposed can be read below:
The story is developing.