(NewsNation) — TikTok is now under fire in several states.
On Wednesday, Texas and Indiana were the latest to act against the social media giant. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all Texas state agencies to ban its use. And Indiana’s attorney general sued TikTok, claiming it violates state consumer protection laws and fails to disclose the Chinese government’s ability to access sensitive information.
And on Tuesday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced an emergency cybersecurity directive in his state.
Cybersecurity specialist Rick Jordon, the CEO of ReachOut Technology, explained the concern to NewsNation. Tiktok’s owner, ByteDance, is a Chinese company. It claims that its data is stored in the United States, and Chinese government officials have no access to it.
“It lives here now in the U.S., but there’s still evidence according to the FBI that the (Chinese Communist Party) is still targeting that data and just accessing it remotely now,” Jordon said.
The data includes not just users’ names, birthdays and locations but their political leanings based on how they interact with the content, according to Jordon.
On TikTok’s part, a spokesperson said the concerns are “largely fueled by misinformation about our company.”
However, Jordon says one should consider the difference between the U.S. version of TikTok versus the version ByteDance has put out in China.
“There’s a reason why they limit their own people under 14 years old to 40 minutes a day. And that’s a key to say, hey, maybe we should do the same,” Jordon said.