Yesterday, with broad bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (352-65) to support the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, designed to begin the process of banning TikTok’s use in the United States. This is music to my ears. See a previous blog post on this subject.

The Act would penalize app stores and web hosting services that host TikTok while it is owned by Chinese-based ByteDance. However, if the app is divested from ByteDance, the Act will allow use of TikTok in the U.S.

National security experts have warned legislators and the public about downloading and using TikTok as a national security threat. This threat manifests because the owner of ByteDance is required by Chinese law to share users’ data with the Chinese Communist government. When downloading the app, TikTok obtains access to users’ microphones, cameras, and location services, which is essentially spyware on over 170 million Americans’ every move, (dance or not).

Lawmakers are concerned about the detailed sharing of Americans’ data with one of its top adversaries and the ability of TikTok’s algorithms to influence and launch disinformation campaigns against the American people. The Act will make its way through the Senate, and if passed, President Biden has indicated that he will sign it. This is a big win for privacy and national security.