U.S. National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone warned Tuesday about the influence of TikTok.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he voiced his concerns regarding the Chinese-owned video app’s data collection and potential to facilitate broad influence operations.
“TikTok concerns me for a number of different reasons,” the director told Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville.
Firstly, Nakasone said he was worried about the “data that they have.”
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“Secondly is the algorithm and the control of who has the algorithm,” he added.
The NSA chief highlighted TikTok’s ability to “turn off the message,” as well as proactively influence its users.
The app is used by more than 100 million Americans.
This comes after the White House required all federal agencies to remove the app from government devices within 30 days.
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In 2020, the U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) ordered Chinese company ByteDance to divest TikTok over fears that user data could be shared with China’s government.
TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew is slated to appear before Congress on March 23.
Nakasone’s comments were made as senators unveiled the RESTRICT Act.
“The swiftest and most thorough way to address any national security concerns about TikTok is for CFIUS – of which the Department of Defense and the NSA are a part – to adopt the proposed agreement that we worked with them on for nearly two years,” TikTok representative Brooke Oberwetter said, according to Reuters, adding that TikTok’s “status has been debated in public in a way that is divorced from the facts of that agreement and what we’ve achieved already.”
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TikTok did not immediately respond to Online News 72h Digital’s request for comment.
Reuters contributed to this report.