US Democratic and Republican National Committees warn staffers against using TikTok over privacy concerns and ties to Chinese government

  • The DNC and RNC have warned party members and staffers against using TikTok
  • Both parties are citing privacy concerns as their reason
  • TikTok is owned by the China-based ByteDance and has come under scrutiny for sending data back to the country 

Both major political parties in the US are warning staffers against using the social media app, TikTok.

According to a report from CNN, the Democratic National Committee warned staffers as well as committee and state parties against using the app over privacy concerns and connections to the Chinese government.

‘We continue to advise campaign staff to refrain from using TikTok on personal devices. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend using a separate phone and account,’ said a copy of the warning according to CNN.  

China-based ByteDance, which owns TikTok, has come under scrutiny for its transmission of data back to China 

A separate memo from the Republican National Committee has also warned against using the app for similar reasons.  

Press secretary for the committee, Mandi Merritt, told CNN that there is a longstanding guidance in place from the RNC, saying:

‘The RNC has advised employees and stakeholders to not download the TikTok app on their personal devices.’

In response to the guidance from both committees, a spokesperson from TikTok told CNN: 

‘We are fully committed to protecting our users’ privacy and security. Under the leadership of our American CEO, along with our Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Safety, TikTok’s growing US team works diligently to develop a best-in-class security infrastructure and uphold our Community Guidelines which prohibit misleading and inauthentic content and accounts.

‘We welcome a dialogue with anyone who has questions about TikTok so that we can ease concerns they may have.’

TikTok has long been a magnet for skepticism by US entities, including the Army and Congress.

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