TikTok is a young, popular short-form video tech platform. It’s also extremely controversial. Globally, the app has been downloaded more than 3 billion times. It has roughly 80 million active monthly users in the United States. But its ownership by Bytedance, a Chinese company with communist party ties, has generated privacy, cybersecurity and national security concerns.
The U.S. Armed Forces and Transportation Security Administration have both banned the app over cybersecurity risks. Concerned private information about Americans could be shared with the communist Chinese government, former President Donald Trump’s administration issued an executive order in August 2020, to ban the app, before a federal judge lifted the executive order.
TikTok reportedly admitted in 2022 that its China-based employees can access data from app users in the U.S.