(Image source from: cnbcfm.com)
A US Senate panel has approved the ban on Tik Tok for federal employees who are using government issued devices.
In what comes as another blow to Tik Tok, the US senate committee on Wednesday has passed a bill that would ban government employees from using the Chinese video app Tik Tok on devices given by the government.
The “NoTik Tok on Government Devices act” was unanimously passed as the law makers feared the security of user personal data. The matter will now be taken up by the US senate for a vote.
US regulators have feared that personal data of American people using Tik Tok will be in the hands of the Beijing government.
Tik Tok is highly popular among American teens who post short videos on a daily basis on the app. Last year, Tik Tok founders stated that about 60% of American users of the app are between the age of 16 and 24. The monthly active American users of Tik Tok stand at 26.5 million.
As per a Chinese law introduced in 2017, companies have an obligation to cooperate with the Chinese national intelligence network.
Earlier this week, a voting took place by the House of Representatives to ban the federal employees from downloading the Tik Tok app on the government issued devices as a part of a defense policy bill worth $741 billion.
The proposal was offered by the representative Ken Buck and the law makers have voted 336-71 passing the proposal unanimously.
With the passage from the House of Representatives and the approval by the Senate, the ban on Tik Tok could soon become a law in the country.
Top officials and even Trump himself have said that he is considering a broader ban on Tik Tok and other Chinese related apps and that action now seems imminent.
US’ secretary of the state, Mike Pompeo had recently warned the Americans to be cautious while using the Tik Tok app.
However, Tik Tok’s spokeswoman Jamie Favazza has said that the company’s highest priority would be to ensure the safety and protect the privacy of the users in the US. She also said that the company’s team has been growing in the US and she wouldn’t wish the company to be at risk.
She also mentioned that millions of Americans use Tik Tok for entertainment purposes and federal employees and government devices need not necessarily use the app.
However, it is likely that Trump would consider completely banning Chinese apps and impetus came after India’s ban on 59 Chinese apps. He even seems to be against Huawei and its products being sold in the country.
By Gayatri Yellayi