Biden’s campaign reportedly told staffers to delete TikTok from their personal and work phones citing security and privacy concerns

  • Joe Biden’s campaign told staffers to “refrain from using and downloading TikTok” on their personal and work phones, Bloomberg reported Monday.
  • Biden’s top lawyer told staffers in an email to avoid using the popular social media app due to security and privacy concerns, according to Bloomberg.
  • TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny from US government officials who worry that its Chinese parent company ByteDance could cave to censorship or data requests from Beijing.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign told its staffers to avoid using popular social media app TikTok, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Biden’s general counsel, Dana Remus, told staffers in an email that they should “refrain from downloading and using TikTok on work and personal devices,” citing concerns around data privacy and security, according to Bloomberg.

TikTok, which is owned by the Beijing-based internet company ByteDance, has faced increasing scrutiny in the US from lawmakers as well as intelligence and military officials who worry that has the potential to be influenced by the Chinese government.

The Guardian reported last year that internal documents instructed moderators to censor content that could anger Chinese officials, though TikTok said at the time that those policies are no longer in use.

Following the report, top US senators called on intelligence agencies to investigate the app’s connection to China and whether it poses national-security risks.

Since then, the US military and several government agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, have prohibited their troops and employees from using the app, and President Donald Trump has floated the idea of banning the app from operating in the US entirely — though he cited China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as his reason for wanting to curb its use.

Trump officials have also claimed that TikTok’s data collection practices pose privacy risks to users. While the company has faced repeated allegations that it fails to protect children’s information, experts also told Business Insider that TikTok’s privacy policy suggests companies like Facebook and Google are similarly intrusive.

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