Technology GOP lawmakers reintroduce bill to ban TikTok from government devices

20:15  15 april  2021
20:15  15 april  2021 Source:   abcnews.go.com

Shopify retailers can now advertise directly on Tiktok.

 Shopify retailers can now advertise directly on Tiktok. Shopify's Tiktok integration is finally available in Germany. At the start, shop operators are to be lured with advertising credits. © JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com Tiktok ads can now be created directly from Shopify. In October 2020, Tiktok announced a cooperation with Shopify . The deal is intended to make it easier for users of the e-commerce platform to advertise their range of goods on Tiktok. Now, for the first time, the corresponding function is also available to dealers from Germany.

Republican lawmakers have reintroduced legislation to ban the video-sharing app TikTok from government devices.

The GOP senators, led by Josh Hawley, R-Mo., echoed sentiments of the Trump administration and alleged that TikTok poses a threat to data security due to its ties to China.

"TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices -- or any American devices, for that matter," Hawley said in a statement Thursday. "My bill is a straightforward plan to protect American government data from a hostile foreign power, which, less than a year ago, passed the Senate unanimously."

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  TikTok agrees to pay $92 million to settle teen privacy class-action lawsuit The video platform was accused of collecting biometric data without consent.The settlement, if approved, would lay to rest claims that the video content-sharing app, owned by Beijing-headquartered ByteDance, wrongfully collected the private and biometric data of users including teenagers and minors.

a close up of a window © VCG via Getty Images, FILE MORE: TikTok sues Trump administration over US ban

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who co-sponsored the legislation, added that TikTok "poses a potential threat to personal privacy and our national security interests."

"There is absolutely no reason why this application, which Beijing can use to advance its malign foreign policy initiatives, should be utilized on federal devices," Rubio said in a statement. "In its current form, this platform is not safe."

a close up of a light: The logo of TikTok is seen during TikTok art creation forum on March 17, 2021 in Beijing. © VCG via Getty Images, FILE The logo of TikTok is seen during TikTok art creation forum on March 17, 2021 in Beijing.

The original bill, dubbed "No TikTok on Government Devices Act," passed the Senate in August 2020. On Thursday, Rep. Ken Buck, R-Co., said he is introducing companion legislation in the House.

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  TikTok Pakistan ban is back TikTok has been banned in Pakistan for a second time. © Anjum Naveed/AP FILE - In this July 21, 2020 file photo, a man opens social media app 'TikTok' on his cell phone, in Islamabad, Pakistan. President Donald Trump said Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020 he's given his "blessing" to a proposed deal between Oracle and Walmart for the U.S. operations of TikTok, the Chinese-owned app he's targeted for national security and data privacy concerns.

"It is well past time to acknowledge the serious cybersecurity threat that TikTok poses and enact a federal government-wide ban on the Chinese app," Buck said Thursday.

Former President Donald Trump, whom Hawley notably has staunchly supported, attempted to ban TikTok in the U.S. and then tried to force its sale from China-based ByteDance to an American firm.

Trump's actions were met with a lengthy legal battle from TikTok. The former president's attempt to force its sale also courted controversy because of suggestions he made that the U.S. government should receive payment as part of the deal.

Shortly after President Joe Biden took office, The Wall Street Journal reported that a proposed deal to sell TikTok to two U.S. firms had been put on hold by the new administration, citing anonymous sources.

As of April 2021, Beijing-headquartered ByteDance still lists TikTok as one of the products it owns.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Getting Started On TikTok TikTok’s popularity is accelerating fast, which is remarkable given just how popular it already is. In 2021, TikTok’s active user count is predicted to hit 1.2 billion users, which is over an eighth of the population. Combine that with ByteDance’s recent hiring spree, which hints at a significant expansion, and you’re looking at an app that is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down

MORE: Trump says TikTok will be shut down in US on Sept. 15 unless a deal is made

TikTok did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Thursday. The company has aggressively pushed back on allegations that it poses a security threat to the U.S. because of its parent company's ties to China.

TikTok has previously said all U.S. user data is stored outside of China and none of its data is subject to Chinese law. Foreign governments do not have any influence over the platform, according to TikTok.

Researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said in an analysis published last month that TikTok did not appear to exhibit "overtly malicious behavior" and that the level of user data collected by TikTok is similar to other major social media platforms. They admitted, however, that this is not a high bar in terms of privacy standards.

The cyber researchers also said they did not observe TikTok collecting contact lists, geolocation coordinates or recording and sending photos or videos without user permission.

Fact check: Viral TikTok trends surrounding warning of sexual assault on April 24 are unsubstantiated .
Social media is buzzing with condemnations of alleged threats of planned sexual assaults on April 24, however, TikTok has no evidence of this threat.The predominant narrative is that a group of six men recently created a TikTok video in which they encouraged others to commit sexual assaults on April 24.

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