The State Department appeared to express concern over the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) potentially collecting data on Americans and interfering in U.S. elections through TikTok.
Daily Caller Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Dylan Housman asked State Department spokesman Ned Price if China will face consequences for distributing “inflammatory and divisive” content and misinformation on TikTok in the lead-up to the midterm elections, given that Russia was sanctioned for similar actions in 2016.
“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence conducts a review in the aftermath of the midterm elections and presidential elections in this country and I am not prepared to speak to that. I don’t believe their report has been finalized or released yet so I’ll refer to the DNI on what they saw or did not see.”
He further mentioned a CISA-FBI report indicating that foreign actors likely used “manipulation tactics” prior to the midterm elections. He expressed the department’s general concerns about foreign governments potentially using technology —including social media platforms and personal data — “in a less-than-benign way.” He further stressed the importance of protecting Americans’ personal data from these foreign actors. (RELATED: Biden Spox. Offers Up Word Salad On ‘Health Security’ After Biden Doesn’t Confront Xi On Lab Leak)
Price did appear to have concerns that the CCP is doing something “nefarious” with personal information collected through TikTok.
“Do you trust that the CCP is not gonna, given that TikTok is essentially a state-owned application by the CCP, do you trust that they’re not doing anything nefarious with the data they’re presumably gathering on millions of Americans?” Housman asked.
“I would not go that far,” Price replied.
The security concerns over TikTok has led U.S. officials, namely Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, to ban the use of TikTok by state agencies or government employees. An investigation has found that TikTok accounts operated as Chinese state media to promote Democratic candidates before the elections.