The alarm has been raised on TikTok once again, this time by the Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, who accused the Chinese social network of excessively tracking its users’ activity.
The current relationship between China and the United States is not the best. Thanks to corona, tensions between the two nations have increased. This time, Hawley has reopened the debate that TikTok is being used by the Chinese government to spy on people, especially American citizens.
This is not the first time that Senator Hawley has mistrusted TikTok. Early this year, in March, the senator indicated that multiple people related to the Chinese Communist Party run the company in charge of the app, Bytedance.
A short time later, in May, Hawley referred to an official TikTok statement where they declared that they were unable to appear before Congress because their headquarters are in China, and it is very difficult to transport the employees. For the senator, this was an excuse created by the Beijing government.
Hawley told the Daily Caller that “TikTok is monitoring users’ keystrokes, following their search histories, and tracking them around the web like the rest of Big Tech, but not for profit. They’re doing it to serve their bosses in Beijing.”
“Beijing wants a foothold on every smartphone of every single American citizen to gather intelligence, shape our society and eventually exploit any vulnerabilities it uncovers. There’s no good reason to allow this to continue,” he continued.
It should be noted that TikTok has implemented some policies to gain the trust of its foreign public, such as using international moderators to review the app’s content made outside the Asian country in an attempt to break free from censorship charges, but this has not been enough.
In his most recent remarks, Senator Josh Hawley stated that, while all tech companies monitor their users for different purposes, TikTok is overreaching, calling it espionage.
A key part of the senator’s problem is that TikTok should not be monitoring search histories or keyboards of US citizens to deliver this data to the Chinese government.
The senator suggests that TikTok should be banned. According to Hawley, China wants to obtain as much information as possible from the people to know their weaknesses and take advantage of them, gradually penetrating the life of each individual until they can mold it to CCP’s wishes.