TikTok proposes $1.5 billion plan to address national security concerns in the U.S.

The move comes as at least 25 states have imposed restrictions and bans on the app on government-owned devices due to concerns about data privacy and national security threats.

TikTok proposes $1.5 billion plan to address national security concerns in the US
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TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media giant, has submitted a $1.5 billion plan to U.S. lawmakers to increase transparency and address concerns about national security.

The proposal includes measures to improve oversight of content recommendations and user-data access. The negotiations between TikTok and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, which oversees the company's operations in the U.S., have been kept confidential, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The move comes as at least 25 states have imposed restrictions and bans on the app on government-owned devices due to concerns about data privacy and national security threats.

A spokesperson for TikTok stated that the company believes the proposal would address these concerns and that they “are not waiting for an agreement to be in place.”

They also added that they have “made substantial progress on implementing that solution over the past year and look forward to completing that work to put these concerns to rest.”

Growing security concerns over the platform have drawn scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, with the Federal Communications Commission stating it cannot regulate the app or control American data from flowing back to Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party.

Additionally, TikTok has been accused of tracking reporters at Forbes in a covert surveillance campaign. Forbes reported that ByteDance's internal audit and risk control department was responsible for the alleged plan to monitor the locations of specific American citizens.

This has led to concerns about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over video shares and user data privacy, as well as the potential censorship of videos critical of the Chinese government.

Some U.S. officials have called for the app to be banned in the U.S., with Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) comparing TikTok to “digital fentanyl” and co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to ban the app from operating in the U.S.

“For younger users, the concern isn’t that they’re using TikTok just to watch stupid videos. It’s that they’re relying on TikTok to get their news,” Gallagher said.

The U.S. government could reportedly attempt to force ByteDance to sell some of its operations or leave the U.S. if a deal with TikTok is not reached.

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  • By David Menzies

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