How Frustration Over TikTok Has Mounted in Washington

Beckerman said in an interview that TikTok’s data collection is “all very small” compared to other social apps. To mitigate security concerns, the app says it plans to store all data in the United States, a process likely to take place later this year, Beckerman said. He didn’t provide a specific date.

The White House may be preparing to take immediate action on broader policies regarding apps that may expose data to foreign adversaries. Earlier this year, we circulated a draft executive order giving the government powers to intervene when data is at risk of being exposed to adversaries. The Biden administration will also soon issue guidance directing the commission that reviews transactions involving foreign companies to pay particular attention to cases that might expose the data of Americans to other governments. It’s a schedule. We are also looking at ways to consider entire classes of potentially risky trades rather than approaching them individually.

“The Biden administration is seeking to leverage digital technology and the data of Americans in ways that present unacceptable national security risks while promoting authoritarian rule and gains. We are focused on the challenge,” said the Security Council. “The administration is also considering additional potential actions to address this challenge.”

TikTok has faced security issues over the years, most notably in 2020 when Trump issued an executive order blocking TikTok from Apple and Google’s app stores unless ByteDance sells the app to an American company. It was even more so when the He later announced a deal to sell some of his applications to the American cloud his computing giant Oracle, which never materialized. A federal court ultimately ruled that Trump’s order to block TikTok was illegal, as was another order to block China-owned app WeChat, and last summer, Biden both withdrawn.

However, the government continues to work to mitigate the risks associated with TikTok. The app and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which scrutinizes international involvement in the deal, are quietly negotiating a solution to the government’s concerns, according to people tracking the discussions. It said it plans to store all user data in the United States on Oracle’s servers, as opposed to TikTok’s servers in Singapore and Virginia.

TikTok said only about 10 TikTok employees had seen a draft agreement between the company and the government, though a larger team is working on ways to block user data in the United States.

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