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TSA still using ‘risky’ TikTok app amid security concerns, Schumer says

A screenshot of a Thanksgiving-themed travel video posted by the TSA on TikTok in November 2019, weeks after other federal agencies banned the use of the social media app over security concerns. (Video via Twitter/@TSAMedia_LisaF)

Though the Department of Homeland Security stopped using the TikTok app last year over security concerns, the Transportation Safety Administration apparently never got that message, according to Senator Charles Schumer.

New York’s senior senator and Senate minority leader blasted the TSA on Sunday for continuing to use TikTok app for self-promotion. Late last year, the DHS — the parent agency of TSA — ceased creating posts on TikTok after reports surfaced about potential security violations.

Owned by the communist Chinese government, TikTok came under fire from national security experts in the U.S. who were concerned about the collection and use of user data such as IP addresses, metadata and other sensitive personal information.

Last October, Schumer wrote to then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire requesting a national security risk assessment of TikTok. Soon after, the DHS, along with the Department of Defense and the State Department, banned the use of TikTok.

Nevertheless, Schumer said on Feb. 23, the TSA continued using TikTok to promote informational, yet humorous videos on travel safety — such as a Thanksgiving video on carry-on luggage and a Valentine’s Day video on “romantic tips.”

 

“These videos sure do make you chuckle, they’re creative,” Schumer said. “But China might be laughing at these TSA postings for very different reasons, and that should concern us, and it’s why I am urging the TSA to find a different platform, and cease its use of TikTok for now.”

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