WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Top officials within the federal government are continuing to sound the alarm over TikTok and time may be ticking for the popular social media app.
Members of both parties are ramping up calls to regulate TikTok. This week the head of the FBI said he is extremely concerned the app poses a threat to national security.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said because TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, the data of the roughly 80 million Americans on the app could be weaponized.
“There’s a number of concerns,” Wray said. “For influence operations if they so chose, or to control software on millions of devices.”
Those security concerns have already promoted the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the military to ban TikTok from government phones.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wants the ban to extend to all government phones.
“We also ought to require, the federal government ought to require TikTok to be separated from the Beijing-owned ByteDance parent company,” Hawley said.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., agrees that regulations are overdue, but he said the White House should take the lead.
“We are way behind,” Kaine said. “I think we need to hopefully get some suggestions from the administration about what would be the most effective way to deal with real threats.”
TikTok has repeatedly denied it violates user privacy, and last month said it has never targeted any members of the U.S. government.