TIK’D OFF: Is national security harmed when Congress uses TikTok? Americans weigh

People in the Lone Star State have been pondering whether members of Congress threaten national security by using the Chinese-owned video app TikTok.

“Absolutely,” Naff, who recently moved from Toronto to Austin, told Fox News. “It shouldn’t be on their device at all.”

Watch: Texans vote off Congress using TikTok

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But Michael disagreed.

“Not necessarily at this particular time,” said the Austin resident.

Congress recently passed a bill that includes a provision banning executive branch employees from downloading TikTok to their government devices over concerns that the Chinese-owned app threatens national security. More than a dozen countries have issued similar restrictions.

But some Democrats in Congress — like Representatives Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Jamal Bowman of New York — are still using TikTok despite the legislature’s concerns.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) maintains an active TikTok presence.
(Jamal Countess / Getty Images)

“The men and women of Congress are at a disadvantage if they have the app on their phone because China can track them,” Lisa, who was visiting Austin from Melbourne, Australia, told Fox News.

But a resident of the Dallas-Fort Worth area said, “It really depends on what they post.”

LAWYERS SPREAD WARNINGS ABOUT TIKTOK, DEMANDING NATIONAL BANNING: ‘THIS IS DIGITAL FENTANIL’

Bronte said she felt Congress should also go through with a TikTok ban.

“It is strange that they are denied entry to this branch,” she said.

Michael agreed.

“Especially with Congress – but even their staff – members of Congress send messages and information and exchange information back and forth,” he told Fox News.

TikTok's Chinese parent company, ByteDance, says its user data is not shared with the Chinese government.

TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, says its user data is not shared with the Chinese government.
(Zeng Shuai/VCG via Getty Images)

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has confirmed that its user data is not subject to Chinese law that forces companies to provide internal data to the country upon request. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently warned that the app could be used for Chinese influence operations or hacking devices.

ByteDance has also used TikTok to track the locations of journalists, Forbes reported in December.

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Nav supported the blanket ban of TikTok from personal and work-issued devices of all federal employees.

“It’s very easy to track them down,” he said. “And with China having access to all that data, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

To see more people praise members of Congress using TikTok, click here.

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