The United States is ratcheting up national security concerns about TikTok, mandating that all federal employees delete the Chinese-owned social media app from government-issued mobile phones. Other Western governments are pursuing similar bans, citing espionage fears.
So how serious is the threat? And should TikTok users who don’t work for the government be worried about the app, too?
The answers depend somewhat on whom you ask, and how concerned you are in general about technology companies gathering and sharing personal data.
Here’s what to know:
HOW ARE THE U.S. AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS BLOCKING TIKTOK?
The White House said Monday it is giving U.S. federal agencies 30 days to delete TikTok from all government-issued mobile devices.
Congress, the White House, U.S. armed forces and more than half of U.S. states had already banned TikTok amid concerns that its parent company, ByteDance, would give user data — such as browsing history and location — to the Chinese government, or push propaganda and misinformation on its behalf.