TikTok could be facing a ban in the United States after a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) raised concerns over national security.
The app’s growing popularity in the US is concerning because ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns it.
That means there’s potential for data on US citizens to flow back to China.
At 200 million downloads in the US alone, there’s also a risk of a state actor using TikTok to influence American citizens.
One of five FCC commissioners, Brendan Carr, tells Axios: “I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban.”
Carr doesn’t believe it’s possible to sufficiently protect user data in a way that ensures it can’t get into the wrong hands.
Creators on TikTok may find themselves without a platform if US lawmakers echo the FCC’s concerns.
Here’s more about the situation and what may happen due to the proposed ban.
Is TikTok Getting Banned In The US?
The short answer is — we don’t know yet.
The FCC has no authority to regulate TikTok, though it wields considerable influence over those who do.
For example, Congress previously acted on Carr’s concerns about Chinese telecom companies, which resulted in Huawei getting banned.
Whether lawmakers will take action this time remains to be seen. US politicians have mixed opinions on TikTok, with some using it as a platform to reach voters and others outright condemning it.
TikTok is currently negotiating a way forward with the Council on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), proposing to divest part of its business to an American company.
Carr has little faith in the parties agreeing, however. Carr tells CNN in an interview:
“Perhaps the deal CFIUS ends up cutting is an amazing, airtight deal, but at this point I have a very, very difficult time looking at TikTok’s conduct thinking we’re going to cut a technical construct that they’re not going to find a way around.”
What Does TikTok Have To Say About This?
A TikTok spokesperson tells CNN the company is confident it will reach an agreement with the US government:
“Commissioner Carr has no role in or direct knowledge of the confidential discussions with the US government related to TikTok and is not in a position to discuss what those negotiations entail. We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the US government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns.”
For now, it’s still business as usual for TikTok in the US, though it may be a good idea for creators to have a backup plan in case of a ban. YouTube Shorts is always an option, and it pays better too.
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