The US Army is conducting a security assessment on the Chinese-owned TikTok App.
TikTok is very popular among teens. So popular, that the military used the app to recruit American teenagers, but all of this may soon stop.
On Thursday, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said an investigation has been launched to assess the ties between TikTok and the Chinese government — particularly in regards to data sharing.
The investigation is in response to warnings issued earlier this year by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
In a letter to Ryan McCarthy, Schumer wrote:
“National security experts have raised concerns about TikTok´s collection and handling of user data, including user content and communications, IP addresses, location-related data, metadata, and other sensitive personal information.”
Reuters reports that Schumer was especially concerned about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
TikTok, for its part, maintains that the company is entirely independent of China.
In a blog post, the company’s US general manager, Vanessa Pappas, said its data centers are located “entirely outside of China.”
But many skeptics believe that app could be actively exporting information on users in the US to the Chinese government.
TikTok is not the first Chinese company to face backlash from US lawmakers — smartphone manufacturer, Huawei, was blacklisted this year.