Is TikTok is #Spying on the U.S?

Kassidy Hemby, Staff Reporter

TikTok is everywhere, in every room, in every place, people are addicted to this app. TikTok is a world-renowned, Chinese owned program. It was ranked as the top most downloaded app in Apple’s IOS system. Before TikTok’s famous journey, it was known as Musical.ly, but in 2017 ByteDance, a company owned by Beijing headquarters, bought Musical.ly for $800 million. ByteDance claimed to keep Musical.ly separate from their other Chinese apps; however, a year later it was merged, creating TikTok.

The US and China are in competition for technological dominance, this leads some Americans to believe that the Chinese government is using TikTok to spy on its users. The reasons behind this are due to the age of users and access gained when opening the app. TikTok requires an age confirmation before being downloaded. It restricts use for anyone younger than 13-years-old and allows anyone between the ages of 13 to 18 with parents’ permission.

Age fabrication has become a common problem, kids younger than 13 are using this app, as well as adults older than 18. This has concerns many Americans, having no control over the app also creates worry. Senator Josh Howley posed a question towards parents, “Do you feel comfortable with them (China) knowing who they (children) call or what text messages they send?” He later emphasizes, “Remember the app can gain access once it’s opened and can gain access to phone books and other communications.” Howley’s new information not only proves TikTok’s effects on the users, but it also confirms that it affects parents too.

With such a popularity in technology, TikTok has made a major impression on the world, even President Trump became involved. He exploited taxes on more than 360 billion dollars in products relating to war and theft coming from China, Trump suspects theft again from China. With rising rates of attention from the U.S. president and senators, it creates possibilities. With an app like TikTok, one that has been downloaded more than 750 million times, it is easy for a  concern involving spies to turn to a worldwide issue.