WASHINTON, D.C.(Press Release) – On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Block the Tok Act, a bill that would prohibit TikTok from accessing U.S. citizens’ user data from within China and block the installation of TikTok on government devices. Earlier this year, reports indicated the Chinese parent company of TikTok was freely accessing sensitive user data such as passwords, keystrokes, browser history, and voice and facial recognition.
“According to TikTok’s own employees, ‘everything is seen in China,’” said Johnson. “It might seem trivial to go after an app known for viral dance videos, but TikTok is a national security concern. TikTok has more than one billion users, and China is using Americans’ information to advance its communist agenda. It’s no secret China’s goal is to replace the U.S. as the world’s superpower – Americans shouldn’t help China advance its agenda. Block the Tok keeps China’s hands off your personal information.”
TikTok has circumvented privacy safeguards since 2020 and has paid nearly $100 million in fines for improper data collection, including that of children under the age of 13. Currently, several government agencies recommend employees do not download TikTok on government devices.
The Block the Tok Act would put safeguards in place to ensure better user privacy, pursue transparency, and protect our national security. The bill would:
- Prohibit TikTok from accessing user data of United States citizens from within China.
- Direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to initiate an investigation to determine if TikTok has engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
- Prohibit the installation and use of TikTok at military installations and national security agencies (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc.).
- Prohibit the installation and use of TikTok on federal government devices.