August 11, 2022 6:33pm
Updated: August 11, 2022 7:26pm
The House of Representatives is warning representatives against using the popular social media app TikTok amid concerns surrounding the company's relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
An advisory from the House's chief administrative officer (CAO) recognized that representatives use social media accounts to interact with their constituents but encouraged users to be mindful of the apps' data harvesting and the permissions to which users agree to give it.
"TikTok is a Chinese-owned company, and any use of this platform should be done with that in mind," the advisory read. "The 'TikTok' mobile application has been deemed by the CAO Office of CyberSecurity to be a high-risk to users due to its lack of transparency in how it protects customer data, its requirement of excessive permissions, and the potential security risks involved with its use."
"TikTok actively harvests content for identifiable data. TikTok 'may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws,' including 'faceprints' and 'voiceprints,' from videos users upload to their platform," it continued.
"To reiterate, we do not recommend the download or use of this application due to these security and privacy concerns," the CAO asserted.
The app has been embroiled in controversy for years. Former President Donald Trump mulled banning the app outright, but ultimately pursued the sale of its American assets to U.S. firms, which did not succeed.
Recent polling suggests the American public may be turning against TikTok with almost 60% supporting the app's removal from digital marketplaces.