TikTok: FBI Director Chris Wray has warned people about the popular short video-sharing app and national security concerns.
Wray reminded people that TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, is run by a government that doesn’t share the same values as the United States.
On Friday, Chris Wray raised nationwide concerns about the app.
He revealed that the FBI is concerned with the Chinese control of the app’s recommendation algorithm.
Having control allows the Chinese to manipulate the content and use it to influence operations.
Additionally, Wray says China may use TikTok to harvest user data for traditional espionage operations.
Chris Wray’s warning came at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan last week.
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States,” Wray told audiences.
“That should concern us.”
Moreover, the concerns expressed by the FBI director are similar to those raised during his congressional appearances in November.
Finally, Wray shared that it is part of an ongoing conversation in Washington.
The Trump administration previously threatened to ban TikTok in 2020 due to concerns about China’s influence.
Additionally, the administration pressured ByteDance to sell the app to a company in the United States.
Finally, US officials and TikTok are in talks for a deal to resolve the US security woes.
According to Wray, the process is taking place across US government agencies.
Brooke Overwetter, a TikTok spokeswoman, released a statement via email saying:
“As Director Wray has previously said, the FBI’s input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the US Government.”
“While we can’t comment on the specifics of those confidential discussions, we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns and have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions.”
Beijing-based ByteDance owns TikTok.
The statement from Friday said it was a private company.
It is also a reminder that TikTok is an American company bound by American laws.
During a Senate hearing in September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas answered questions from both sides.
She concluded that the company protects all US user data, noting that Chinese government officials do not have access to it.
“We will never share data, period,” said Pappas.