US President Joe Biden said Monday that he has not yet made a decision on whether to ban the use of the TikTok application, owned by China’s ByteDance, but said he does not have it on his phone.
"I don’t know, but I know that I don’t have it on my cell phone"Biden said in response to questions from the press upon his arrival at the White House after spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential residence in Maryland.
The use of TikTok is prohibited on mobile devices used by government employees, including those used by the president.
In December, Congress passed a law to that end, but several Democratic and Republican lawmakers want to go further, saying the app should be banned entirely in the US, so Americans can’t download it or receive updates.
The FBI also raised concerns that TikTok could be used by Beijing for spying, as the app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance.
China has security laws that could force tech companies to share data with its intelligence services, but TikTok and other companies say those concerns are nonsense and the data is safe with them.
Locally, some states like Alabama, Virginia, and Tennessee have restricted TikTok use within government institutions, while territories like Indiana have filed lawsuits against ByteDance for allegedly enabling Chinese spying.
The governor of Texas, Republican Greg Abbott, announced a new plan on Monday to ban the use of TikTok on devices of all officials who work for the state, including those who work as contractors, a further step in the restrictions that have gone announced in recent months.
Former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) tried to impose a veto on TikTok, but after a long legal battle it did not materialize.
TikTok has more than 80 million users in the United States and has become one of the most popular social networks in the world in a short time, especially among teenagers.