TikTok: FBI Director Chris Wray has warned people about the popular short video-sharing app, citing national security concerns.
Wray shed light on TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, saying it is run by a government that doesn’t share the same values as the United States.
On Friday, Chris Wray reiterated national safety concerns about the app.
He revealed that the FBI was worried about the Chinese control of the app’s recommendation algorithm.
Control allows the Chinese to manipulate the content, possibly using it to influence operations.
Additionally, Wray says China could utilize TikTok to collect data from users for traditional espionage operations.
Chris Wray’s warning came last week at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
“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.”
Furthermore, the FBI director’s concerns are similar to those raised during his November congressional appearances.
Finally, Wray shared that the concerns are part of an ongoing conversation in Washington.
The Trump administration previously threatened to ban TikTok in 2020 over concerns about Chinese 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 to reach an agreement to resolve US security concerns.
According to Wray, the process is happening across all US government agencies.
Brooke Overwetter, a spokesperson for TikTok, 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 the video-sharing app.
Friday’s statement said TikTok was a private company.
It also reminds people that TikTok is an American company bound by American laws.
During a Senate hearing in September, TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas addressed questions from both sides.
She concluded that the company protects all US user data, noting that Chinese government officials do not have access.
“We will never share data, period,” said Pappas.