Is the end near for ByteDance-owned TikTok in the US? Well, it seems the countdown for TikTok in the US has commenced, and the Chinese app could lose one its biggest markets in the world. The US House of Representatives orders lawmakers to delete the app from their official phones.
This has been coming for TikTok, and does not sound like shocking news to millions of people out there. In the past couple of weeks, the app has been banned by many US states; but the House of Representatives takes it to a new height.
According to an internal memo as obtained by the NBC, the order was reportedly issued by Catherine L Szpindor, the chief administrative officer of the House. Also, TikTok has been banned from being downloaded and installed on all House-issued devices going forward.
“House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices,” the memo said. “If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it.”
TikTok had repeatedly denied any wrongdoings as it concern some of the allegations brought against it.
A new investigation showed that its parent company ByteDance had been spying on several American journalists. According to the Financial Times, ByteDance had access to commercially sensitive information as a result of its relationship with TikTok.
“Over the summer, four employees on the ByteDance internal audit team looked into the sharing of internal information to journalists. Two members of staff in the US and two in China gained access to the IP addresses and other personal data of FT journalist Cristina Criddle, to work out if she was in the proximity of any ByteDance employees, the company said.”
According to the reports, a BuzzFeed journalist and several users connected to the reporters through their TikTok accounts were also targeted in the ByteDance probe.
Regardless of how you view this, it is still a violation; and a significant one at that. It also runs contrary to what TikTok has been saying public, and all but confirms fears being expressed by the US government about the app and the security threat it poses.
TikTok and its parent company ByteDance are facing a legal hurdle as the US State of Indiana has sued the China-owned company for violating the state’s for failing to protect young users.
The State of Indiana alleges that TikTok fails to safeguard its young users and privacy; an allegation the company has denied.