(NewsGlobal.com)- The FBI is continuing to raise national security concerns over the popular social media app TikTok.
Following up on comments he made just last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned last Friday that the control of the app lays in the hands of the government of China, a group “that doesn’t share our values.”
Wray pointed out that the agency he leads is particularly concerned that China might have the ability to control the recommendation algorithm within the app, “which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.”
The FBI director also said that China might have the ability to collect a dearth of data on all users of the app, which it could then use for various espionage operations.
Speaking to an audience of people at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan last week, Wray said:
“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. That should concern us.”
In November, Wray raised similar concerns when he appeared during a congressional hearing. Wray isn’t the only person in Washington who’s raising alarm about TikTok, either.
The video sharing app is owned by the company ByteDance, which is based in Beijing. While a spokesperson for the company didn’t return emails seeking comment by Newsmax recently, the company’s CEO did testify at a Senate hearing back in September.
At that hearing, Vanessa Pappas took questions from Senate members across both aisles. She responded that TikTok protects all the data it has on American users, adding that government officials in China don’t have access to any of it.
She said frankly:
“We will never share data, period.”
But, that hasn’t quelled the concerns of many people in Washington — and throughout the country, in fact.
Concerns regarding the app — and China’s potential influence over it — were first raised during the Trump administration. In 2020, the former president actually threatened to completely ban the app in the United States, pressuring ByteDance to sell the company to an entity based in the United States.
While it was rumored that Microsoft might end up being that company, no deal ever came to fruition — and neither did Trump’s threat to ban the app.
While ByteDance officials have continually said that all data on U.S. residents was stored on servers based in America, that has been proven to be not true in the recent past.
While Wray said the FBI has deep concerns about the app, he also said that officials in the U.S. were working with officials at ByteDance to try solve security concerns that America has. The director said that is a process that’s taking place among various agencies at the federal government.