The government is considering banning TikTok in the U.S. due to concerns surrounding Chinese surveillance, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview on Monday.
Pompeo told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that the Trump administration is aware of the potential threat and “have worked on this issue for a long time.”
“We are taking this very seriously and we are certainly looking at it,” Pompeo said. He warned that Americans should be cautious of downloading the video entertainment app or risk giving their information to the Chinese government.
“With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right,” he added.
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, has previously said it doesn’t send any user-collected data to China.
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The latest news comes just weeks after TikTok users made a concerted effort to disrupt President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. People using the app urged followers to register for tickets to Trump’s campaign rally and not show up.
It’s also not the first time the app has made headlines for being a potential threat to national cybersecurity.
In December, the Navy urged military personnel and staff to delete the app if they have it downloaded on government-issued smartphones and tablets. The agency also urged them not to download the app on government-supplied devices in the first place.
“This decision was made based on cybersecurity threat assessments, and is consistent with 10th Fleet efforts to proactively address existing and emerging threats in defense of our networks,” said Dave Benham, director of public affairs for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command in a statement to USA TODAY.
The Navy didn’t elaborate on what specific cybersecurity dangers the app poses.
Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown.