Image: Solen Feyiss / Unsplash
By Tess Langbroek
House of Representatives Chief Administrative Officer has issued an advisory that discourages lawmakers from using TikTok, labeling it high-risk as it grants China access to the user's info.
CAO Office has deemed the TikTok mobile application 'high-risk' to users due to its lack of transparency in protecting customer data, its requirement of excessive permissions, and the potential security risks involved with its use, the advisory states.
The application is known to store the user's location, photos, and other personally identifiable information (PII) in servers located in China and potentially mined for commercial and private purposes.
TikTok may also collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, including faceprints and voiceprints from videos users upload to their platform.
The TikTok policy has stated that it automatically collects information about a client's devices, including location data based on your SIM card and IP addresses, and GPS.
The memo, citing information from the CAO's CyberSecurity office, calls TikTok a "high risk" social media application that could jeopardize individuals' privacy.
TikTok, available to millions of Americans through Apple and Google online stores, is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, which must, by Chinese law, comply with the PRC's surveillance demands.
Federal Communication Commission commissioner Brendan Carr urged Apple and Google to remove the app from their platforms as a potential national security risk.