Feb 23, 2020 - Technology

TSA bans employees from using China-owned TikTok for social media outreach

TikTok
Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said Sunday that it is banning employees from using the Chinese-owned app TikTok for social media outreach, after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent the agency a letter raising security concerns, AP reports.

The big picture: Schumer had previously requested that the U.S. government investigate whether TikTok poses any "national security risks. The app already has more than 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, and it could become a Chinese vacuum for coveted American data as tensions between the countries continue to escalate.

Driving the news: Schumer sent a letter Saturday to TSA administrator David Pekoske citing a Department of Homeland Security rule banning the use of TikTok on agency devices.

  • Schumer said to AP: "Given the widely reported threats, the already-in-place agency bans, and the existing concerns posed by TikTok, the feds cannot continue to allow the TSA’s use of the platform to fly."
  • The TSA said Sunday that a “small number of TSA employees have previously used TikTok on their personal devices to create videos for use in TSA’s social media outreach, but that practice has since been discontinued," per AP.

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