Around half of Americans worry TikTok would share their data with the Chinese government – Insider

According to a poll shared with Insider, 48% of Americans worried that TikTok would give their personal data to the Chinese government if requested. 

TikTok’s ties to China, prompted Donald Trump to try to ban the popular app in 2020 on national security grounds. Earlier in June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescinding Trump’s order to ban TikTok unless it could find a US buyer. However, Biden’s order sets criteria for the government to assess the risk of apps linked to foreign adversaries.

The poll conducted by Opinium found that 35 percent of Americans agreed that TikTok is a national security threat, and nearly half said they did not trust it to process their personal data.

According to the poll, only 19% said they trusted TikTok to handle their data, while 48% disagreed. An important demographic for TikTok, 45% of 18-34 year olds believed they would give their data to China.

A TikTok spokesperson told Insider that “Millions of people around the world love creating, sharing and being entertained on TikTok and we take our responsibility to protect their information seriously.

“As we have made clear previously, TikTok user data is stored on secure servers in the US and Singapore. TikTok has never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we if asked.

A couple of weeks ago, former TikTok employees had told CNBC that TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has access to the popular social networking app’s American user data and is closely involved in the Los Angeles company’s decision-making and product development. 

“We employ rigorous access controls and a strict approval process overseen by our U.S.-based leadership team, including technologies like encryption and security monitoring to safeguard sensitive user data,” a TikTok spokeswoman said in a statement.

Earlier in June, TikTok quietly made changes to its privacy policy for American users, allowing itself to collect users’ faceprints, voiceprints, and biometric data. 

“We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content. Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection,” the new policy said. 

A TikTok spokesperson said that “As part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we recently updated our Privacy Policy to provide more clarity on the information we may collect.” 

Written by Sophie Blake

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