Heritage Tech Expert Exposes TikTok’s China Ties on ‘60 Minutes’

HERITAGE IMPACT

Heritage Tech Expert Exposes TikTok’s China Ties on ‘60 Minutes’

November 20th, 2020

Heritage experts have been warning about TikTok's ties to the Chinese Communist Party for months. Photo by KEVIN FRAYER/Getty Images

Klon Kitchen, director of Heritage's Center for Technology Policy, recently appeared on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to discuss the hidden links between the Chinese Communist Party and popular social media app TikTok.  
 
During his segment, Kitchen detailed the massive data collection that occurs each time a user opens the app, and why Americans should take the security threat seriously.  

“Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning and you saw a news report that China had distributed 100 million sensors around the United States,” said Kitchen to CBS News’ Bill Whitaker, “and anytime an American walked past one of these sensors, this sensor automatically collected off of your phone: your name, your home address, your personal network, who you're friends with, your online viewing habits, and a whole host of other pieces of information. Well, that's precisely what TikTok is.” 

Heritage has been warning Americans for months about the massive risks associated to TikTok’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. 

Before his appearance on “60 Minutes,” Kitchen testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism imploring lawmakers to take the TikTok threat seriously.  

 

In August 2020, Jim Carafano, laid out the facts about the social media giant. “Let’s be clear: every company in China works for the Chinese Communist Party. They are required, by law, to turn over any information they can access, whenever the Party asks for it. It’s not just a matter of cooperating with the regime or being friendly to it. They must take and obey all orders from the regime, and that includes handing over any American data they touch, regardless of privacy commitments, legal concerns or respect for intellectual property.” 

He added, “Americans are happily dumping all kinds of information into the service, most of them blithely unaware that all that data winds up in China and can be used and abused for all kinds of purposes.” 
 
Heritage will continue to push for policy that secures American personal data against the Chinese Communist Party and other malicious foreign actors. Click here to learn more about Heritage’s cybersecurity policy recommendations.