In a new interview, Pompeo says that TikTok users are handing their private information over to the “Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok is already banned in India. Australian officials are also threatening to take similar measures due to security concerns. Now, it looks like the United States may be banning the video-sharing app, too.
Pompeo revealed in a Fox News interview why the Trump Administration is “looking at” banning TikTok. He warns that Americans should only download the app “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it. We have worked on this very issue for a long time,” he says. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right, too.”
TikTok has over 65 million active users in the United States alone. As well, it consistently ranks as one of the most downloaded apps on Apple‘s App Store. According to analytics company Sensor Tower, TikTok was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year. That is more quarterly downloads than any other app in history.
Despite its success, U.S. government officials have expressed concerns over the amount of data that TikTok collects in comparison to other social media platforms. This is all particularly concerning for the U.S. government since TikTok is a Chinese company. In 2019, the U.S. military banned its personnel from using the app on government-issued phones and devices.
Following Pompeo’s comments, a TikTok spokesperson released a statement stating that the app does not provide users’ info to the Chinese government.
“TikTok is led by an American CEO,” the spokesperson says. “With hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
If the Trump Administration does ban TikTok, it could cause some big implications within the entertainment industry. TikTok has become a platform for artist discovery over the years. Acts including Lil Nas X and Ashnikko were initially discovered on the video-sharing app.
Pompeo’s full interview with Fox News is available to watch below.
Do you think the Trump Administration should ban TikTok over privacy concerns? Let us know in the comments below.