Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio called for the banning of Chinese-controlled TikTok in an opinion piece published on Tuesday as his latest move in his campaign against the destructive effect of the app.
“TikTok’s public-policy chief blatantly lied under oath when he denied US data is stored in China. ByteDance, TikTok’s China-based parent company, was caught in October using the app to spy on American journalists.” Rubio wrote.
Rubio mentioned that according to The New York Times, TikTok keeps records of Americans’ private information, such as driver’s license numbers, addresses, and device IDs, in China, where ByteDance staff members may access them.
“Almost a third of the country uses TikTok semi-regularly. Who, for that matter, will even be aware of American goods on the market when TikTok’s algorithm begins — as it surely will — to favor Chinese sellers?” he continued.
“China’s totalitarian regime hates the United States and is bent on displacing us as the world’s greatest power. If TikTok users believe their sensitive data are safe in Beijing’s hands — that Beijing wouldn’t use those data to influence, coerce, extort or spy on them in the case of a geopolitical conflict — they need to think again.” he added.
He said that Forbes had shown that TikTok content creators’ Social Security numbers and tax details were also kept in China.
The No Funds for Enablers of Adversarial Propaganda Act was filed in March by Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Joni Ernst of Iowa. It would prevent any person or organization from receiving government funds if they had a collaboration, agreement, or advertisement with TikTok.
“Chinese-owned TikTok is a threat, but some entities, including our nation’s airports, are still willing to accept advertising dollars from the company. They are either naive, greedy, or both. Regardless, they shouldn’t receive taxpayer dollars if they are going to accept money from or partner with TikTok. These companies need to stop enabling Chinese Communist Party propaganda and espionage efforts,” Rubio concluded.