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FBI director 'extremely concerned' TikTok could be used to spy on Americans

Election 2022 Misinformation
Posted at 3:46 PM, Nov 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-16 17:46:12-05

Speaking to lawmakers during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray voiced his concerns about the possibility of the popular app TikTok being used to spy on Americans.

Wray said he was "extremely concerned" that the Chinese government could use data collected through the app to influence users or control Americans devices, USA Today and NPR reported.

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill to ban the app, which is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, stateside, according to NPR.

Wray added that one risk includes China using application programming interfaces (APIs) to "control data collection of millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which can be used for influence operations," USA Today and Reuters reported.

Two years ago, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban the popular video-sharing app, saying it threatened national security. Still, the Associated Press reported that a federal judge blocked it from happening.

Last year, the Biden administration reversed the Trump administration’s effort to ban the app and WeChat in the U.S. Instead, the news outlet reported that they ordered the Department of Commerce to review the potential national security risks that apps might pose.