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TikTok is a potential national security risk: White House

Its a spy balloon in your phone: McCaul

White House White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington | Reuters

The White House on Wednesday asserted that Chinese-owned app TikTok is a "potential national security risk".

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on asked whether United States (US) President Joe Biden believes TikTok is a threat to national security, she said that "we have concerns about the app. And that's why we have called on Congress to act...including how China is trying to collect the privacy of Americans in a way that it would have...can present national security risks," she said in a press briefing.

On Monday, White House had given federal agencies 30 days to get rid of the app from all government-issued devices.

"I just laid out the President's Unity Agenda and what he's looking to do and the actions that he wants to take from executive branch, his authority, and so we're going to continue to call that out," she added during the press briefing.

The congress legislation passed in December had banned the popular video-sharing app from federal government devices and systems, New York Post reported.

Despite objections from some lawmakers and advocates who say the measure that could disrupt online speech freedoms, the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted to approve a Bill that would give President Joe Biden the authority to ban TikTok in the United States, reported ABC News.

The Bill, introduced Friday by Committee Chair Mike McCaul, R-Texas, would allow President Biden or any future president to impose sanctions, including a ban, against any company that "knowingly provides or may transfer sensitive personal data to any foreign person or company that is "subject to the jurisdiction or direction of China."

At the top Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the bill, McCaul had said that "Make no mistake. TikTok is a national security threat. It allows the CCP to manipulate and monitor its users while it gobbles up Americans' data to be used for their malign activities. Anyone with Tiktok downloaded on their device has given CCP permission and a back door to all their personal information..its a spy balloon in your phone.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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