Wells Fargo bans TikTok

Wells Fargo bans TikTok

Wells Fargo is the latest company to put its foot down on TikTok, and has ordered its employees to delete the social media app from company hardware.  

The move follows the Trump administration’s rhetoric against the platform and the risk it poses to national security.   

On Tuesday, Wells Fargo placed a ban on TikTok following increased scrutiny of the Chinese-operated software’s ability to siphon private data from the phones it’s installed on.  

In a statement to CNN Business, Wells Fargo explained that the ban was over the security risks the app poses to the company, noting that the company had identified a “small number of employees with corporate-owned devices who had installed the TikTok application,” all of whom were ordered to remove it. 

“Due to concerns about TikTok’s privacy and security controls and practices, and because corporate-owned devices should be used for company business only, we have directed those employees to remove the app from their devices,” the company said

Last week, Amazon issued a memo to its employees informing them of a TikTok ban, but later retracted it. Wells Fargo, however, did not. 

Wells Fargo’s ban follows India’s national ban on the app, along with increased scrutiny from the State Department over the threat TikTok poses to national security. 

As previously detailed, the beta release of Apple’s iOS 14 revealed that TikTok has been accessing the iPhone’s clipboard after pledging to stop the practice months ago.  

Reverse engineering of the software also found TikTok to be a “data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device… well, they’re using it," according to the software engineer who cracked it. 

Last week, President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they are seriously considering banning TikTok 

White House advisor Peter Navarro said that he expects the President to take “strong action” against TikTok and even other Chinese apps like WeChat for engaging in “information warfare” against the United States.  

Navarro told Fox News on Sunday that the administration was just getting started and noted that even if TikTok were to be bought out by an American buyer, it wouldn’t change anything.  

“If TikTok separates as an American company, that doesn’t help us,” Navarro said, per the Associated Press. “Because it’s going to be worse — we’re going to have to give China billions of dollars for the privilege of having TikTok operate on U.S. soil.” 

He added that the company was operating by the same playbook as Huawei, which hired an American “puppet,” former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, to act as its CEO.  

Navarro pointed out that Amazon’s decision to retract its own TikTok ban shows the “power of the Chinese Communist Party on corporate America.”