The US Army has banned the use of the hugely popular short video app TikTok by its soldiers, calling it a security threat.
The Army has joined the Navy in barring the use of the app on government-owned phones, following bipartisan calls from lawmakers for regulators and the intelligence community to determine whether the Chinese-owned app presents a threat to national security and could be used to collect American citizens' personal data. Military.com was the first to report on the decision. "There was a Cyber Awareness Message sent out on 16 December identifies TikTok as having potential security risks associated with its use," Army spokesperson Lt. Col Robin L. Ochoa told CNN on Monday night. "The message directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information. The guidance is to be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information." Reuters reported that the Navy also made a similar decision in mid-December, telling sailors that anyone who hadn't removed the app from their government-issued phone would be banned from the Navy intranet. TikTok is not the only Chinese tech giant to raise US suspicions -- wireless company Huawei has earned the criticism of the Trump administration, which has campaigned worldwide against the use of Huawei equipment, citing the company's ties to Beijing. But Huawei isn't the viral phenomenon that TikTok has become, capturing millions of teens and adults with its ability to create and share short videos set to catchy music.