MP urges Brits to delete TikTok amid concerns over spying and personal data (PA/Canva) (Image: PA/Canva)
Users of the popular video sharing app TikTok are being asked to delete it amid concerns about how personal data is being used by the Chinese company that owns it.
Tory MP Alicia Kearns, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee, said users should “without question” delete the app from their devices, suggesting that TikTok is linked to China’s efforts to become a “technological totalitarian state”. to take.
For as long as the app has been popular, there have been concerns about its ties to China because of its parent company ByteDance.
Critics say the personal data the company collects could then be passed on to the Chinese Government.
Speaking after the United States released a suspected Chinese spy balloon, Kearns told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “We are naive.
“TikTok gave evidence to my committee where they said there was no way people working in China could access British people’s data.
“But what we’ve seen now is that people working in China for TikTok hacked European data so it could look for a journalist’s source.
“Because what TikTok does is it gives you your most vulnerable data: who you’re friends with; what are your interests; what interests you have that you do not wish to disclose publicly; with whom you are having private conversations; the sites you go to.
“There’s a reason China has this app. There’s a reason they’re buying gay apps.
“Our data is a critical vulnerability and China is building a totalitarian technological state on the back of our data.
“So we have to be much more serious about protecting ourselves.
(Canva) Kearns says ‘we have to be more serious about protecting ourselves’. (Image: Canva)
“And yes, while balloons are an important diplomatic spike in having this conversation, our biggest concerns are the penetration of data, the path dependence that China is creating on Chinese companies, the a way in which they are intimidating to those who seek refuge in the. UK and worldwide.”
When asked if she wants users to delete the app, Kearns replied: “No question.
“I don’t have it on my phone and it’s really interesting how often you talk to people and they go ‘I’m going home tonight to have a serious chat with my kids’.
“You don’t deserve to have that vulnerability on your phone and it’s the ultimate source of data for anyone with hostile attempts.
“The fact is, now that this is not just me saying ‘I’m worried, delete it’, we have evidence that TikTok was used to solicit sources for journalists.
“Everybody should be concerned about that.”