WASHINGTON D.C (NBC 26) — U.S Representative Mike Gallagher and U.S Senator Marco Rubio have put forth legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S.
Gallagher represents Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District in the House and won re-election in the midterm election last week.
In a joint opinion piece in the Washington Post, Gallagher and Rubio expressed concern that the data from the millions of Americans who use the social media app could end up in the hands of the Chinese government. In the piece, the two specifically question the motives of TikTok's parent company ByteDance.
"That TikTok, and by extension the CCP, has the ability to survey every keystroke teenagers enter on their phones is disturbing," the piece reads in part. "Beijing could also collect sensitive national security information from U.S government employees and develop profiles on millions of Americans to use for blackmail or espionage."
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the number of U.S adults that get their news from TikTok roughly tripled from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022.
Gallagher and Rubio argue that the Chinese government could use the app to influence what information users are exposed to and what they consider accurate.
The likelihood of a ban is uncertain, but experts say if Republicans gain control of the House they could pressure the President to force a sale of the company or come to some other sort of agreement to satisfy security concerns.