KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, wants to clamp down on the popular social media network TikTok, citing China security fears.
Hawley tweeted Tuesday morning he intends to introduce legislation that would ban the social media network across the country.
.@tiktok_us is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 24, 2023
He says the social media platform is a “backdoor” for China to learn about American lives and “it threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health.”
"It's got some pretty alarming things in there," cybersecurity expert Tanner Shinn told KSHB 41 News reporter Grant Stephens last month.
Experts like Shinn say TikTok's millions of users are at risk.
"It's really pretty invasive, the amount of stuff it can get," he said, explaining the app has access to what the user types, even when not using the app, and it also gives access to a 'keyring,' which means passwords and access to GPS.
Just before the new year, President Joe Biden signed a ban of Tik Tok on federal government devices.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly also signed an executive order last month banning the social media platform on state-owned devices.
"We do have national security concerns, at least from the FBI's end, about TikTok," FBI director Christopher Wray said last year.
Chinese-owned TikTok says it doesn't share user data with the Chinese government, which is the U.S. government's primary concern.
The company's U.S. representatives say they're working to prove there's nothing to worry about.