In brief: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has become the latest government agency to ban the use of Chinese-owned video sharing platform TikTok.
On Sunday, US Senator Charles Schumer called out the TSA on its continued use of the controversial app. In it, he said the risks to American and federal agency security via the platform remains very real and urged the TSA to stop using the app.
“These videos sure do make you chuckle; they’re creative,” Schumer said. “But China might be laughing at these TSA postings for very different reasons, and that should concern us and it’s why I am urging the TSA to find a different platform, and cease its use of TikTok now.”
TikTok has been under the security microscope for over a year now after American think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics described it as a “Huawei-sized problem in terms of the access to the West potentially afforded to Chinese security services.”
US regulators launched a national security review last November and shortly after, several government agencies including the US Navy and Department of Homeland Security banned its use on government-issued devices.
It didn’t take long for the TSA to respond.
In a statement issued Sunday, the agency admitted that a small number of TSA employees have previously used TikTok on their personal devices to create videos for use in TSA’s social media outreach but added that the practice has since been discontinued.
It may not seem like all that big of a deal, but surprisingly enough, the TSA is quite popular on social media. On Twitter alone, the official TSA account has over 234,000 followers and frequently posts videos that go viral.