The US Army has now deemed that using the Chinese owned app TikTok, which the US Army was using it to recruit and promote their own branch of service, is a potential security risk that needs to be banned.
Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa told Military.com, "It is considered a cyber threat… We do not allow it on government phones."
It's a no-brainer that China has raised a lot of security concerns since they don't have to abide by U.S. laws on data privacy and collection and consumers who request their data. So having a Chinese company collecting vast quantities of video footage and location data and IP addresses and other information from military personnel? Probably not the best for keeping things under-wraps from foreign espionage.
That being said, this is not the first app to be banned. In 2016, the U.S. military banned Pokemon GO due to it being too distracting. Banning TikTok as well is quite a reasonable response.
This is not, however, the first time TikTok has raised security concerns. U.S. senators wrote a letter to the U.S. Director of National Intelligence requesting a review of the app. In the letter, they stated "Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party."
As well, it's not just the Army who has it banned, but In December 2019 the U.S. Navy also prohibited its personnel from using TikTok on government-issued phones. Violating the restriction threatened the users to face a block from the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.
I feel bad for those service members who wasted time dancing in front of their phones 15 times to try and get it right. So don't go dancing in front of the boots recruiters.