US lawmakers told by House of Representatives that TikTok is 'high risk' and they should avoid using it due to privacy concerns

US lawmakers told by House of Representatives that TikTok is 'high risk' and they should avoid using it due to privacy concerns
The House of Representatives' CAO issued an advisory.SOPA Images/Getty Images
  • The House of Representatives' chief administrative officer (CAO) urged Congress to avoid using TikTok.
  • The CAO's advisory called TikTok "high risk," citing privacy concerns.

The House of Representatives urged members of Congress to avoid using the social-media platform TikTok due to privacy concerns.

The House's chief administrative officer (CAO) recently issued a "cyber advisory" in relation to TikTok, which was linked to in Politico's report.

"TikTok is a Chinese-owned company, and any use of this platform should be done with that in mind," the CAO said in the advisory.

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The CAO office of cybersecurity considered the platform to pose a "high risk" to its users because it said it wasn't transparent when it came to protecting customer data. "We do not recommend the download or use of this application due to these security and privacy concerns," the advisory said.

According to the CAO's advisory, TikTok has the ability to store users' data, which can potentially be "mined for commercial and private purposes."


The advisory listed the concerns that it said researchers had found in regards to TikTok, including access to device location, calendar, and photos. It also said the app could obtain other data, such as WiFi network name, Apple Mac address, personal phone number, and more.

"The allegations in the House CAO's advisory about TikTok range from misleading to wrong," a TikTok spokesperson told Insider. "We have requested a meeting to discuss the multiple inaccuracies in the advisory, and we look forward to working with them so they can advise Members and staff on concrete steps they can take to keep their data secure and private when using any social platform to connect with constituents."

The office of the CAO didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

In response to the advisory, TikTok sent a letter to the CAO, which Politico also linked to, asking the office to "correct factual inaccuracies" and "rescind" its advisory. TikTok said in the letter that the advisory included "false and misleading allegations," which the company had already rebutted.

The advisory linked to a New York Times article, which reported in January 2020 that the Pentagon told the military to delete TikTok from all smartphones.