Reuters reported that the United States Navy banned TikTok from government-issued mobile devices because the app represented a “cybersecurity threat”.
A bulletin issued by the Navy on Tuesday showed up on a Facebook page serving military members, saying users of government=issued mobile devices who had TikTok and did not remove the app would be blocked from the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Reuters reported that the Navy would not provide details on what dangers TikTok presents. Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland said in a statement that the order was part of an effort to “address existing and emerging threats.”
This comes after two senior members of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) asked U.S. intelligence officials to determine whether TikTok posed “national security risks”. The two Senators sent a letter to Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maquire, questioning TikTok’s data collection practices and whether the app could be used by the Chinese-owned social-networking app to limit what U.S. users could see.
Reuters reported that last month U.S. Army cadets were instructed not to use TikTok, after Senators Schumer and Cotton raised security concerns about the Army using TikTok in their recruiting.
I find this interesting because, at a glance, TikTok appears to be an app designed to encourage creativity. People make short videos that are intended to be humorous. Many people find the videos to be amusing, and they pass them around on social media.
Now, it seems that TikTok could actually be a security threat, and a strong enough one where various branches of the U.S. military are banning it from government-issued mobile devices. There appears to be concern about TikTok’s data collection practices. It is troubling that an app that appears to be lighthearted could potentially be dangerous.