Hawley said the proposed ban would apply to government-issued devices and his comments added to growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology transfers.
“TikTok is scooping up immense amounts of data and they are sharing it with Beijing; they are required to,” Hawley told reporters after a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on big tech’s connections to China.
“For federal employees it really is a no-brainer. It’s a major security risk...do we really want Beijing having geo-location data of all federal employees? Do we really want them having their keystrokes,” he told reporters.
Already, several U.S. agencies that deal with national security and intelligence issues have banned employees from using the app, which has been rapidly growing in popularity among U.S. teenagers and allows users to create short videos.
About 60% of TikTok’s 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States are between the ages of 16 and 24, the company said last year.