FBI director admits TikTok is a national security concern

His concern involves the ability of the CCP to control the app's recommendation algorithm, "which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations."

FBI director Chris Wray raised national security concerns on Friday about TikTok, warning that control of the popular video-sharing app is in the hands of a Chinese government "that doesn't share our values."

Wray told an audience at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy that he was concerned about the ability of the Chinese government to control the app's recommendation algorithm, "which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations," the Associated Press reports.

He also expressed privacy concerns, stating that the government could pull personal data from the app to be used for espionage operations.

"All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn't share our values, and that has a mission that's very much at odds with what's in the best interests of the United States," he told the audience. "That should concern us."

Wray has expressed similar concerns about China's influence over TikTok during congressional appearances last month when the subject was broached.

A report by Forbes in October alleged that TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, were planning on using the app to track the whereabouts of "specific" Americans, an accusation the company has vehemently denied.

Concern about the CCP's influence over TikTok goes back to Trump's presidency, during which time his administration banned the app in the US and attempted to demand that ByteDance sell TikTok to an American company. The Biden administration reversed this ban.

US officials are in talks with the company to try and find a way to reduce these concerns and resolve the situation long-term.

"As Director Wray has previously said, the FBI's input is being considered as part of our ongoing negotiations with the US Government," TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement. "While we can't comment on the specifics of those confidential discussions, we are confident that we are on a path to fully satisfy all reasonable US national security concerns and have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions."

The statement also noted that ByteDance is a private company and that "TikTok Inc., which offers the TikTok service in the United States, is a U.S. company bound by US laws."

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