US Senate panel approves ban on using TikTok app on government devices

The logo of the social media video sharing app Tiktok is displayed on a tablet screen. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs voted unanimously on Wednesday (July 22) to approve a Bill from Republican Senator Josh Hawley that would ban federal employees from using social media app TikTok on government-issued devices.

It will now be taken up by the US Senate for a vote.

National security concerns about TikTok, owned by China's ByteDance, have gathered steam amid fears that US users' personal information could fall into the hands of government officials in Beijing.

Earlier this week, The House of Representatives voted to bar federal employees from downloading the app on government-issued devices as part of a US$741 billion (S$1 trillion) defence policy Bill.

Lawmakers voted 336-71 to pass the proposal, offered by Representative Ken Buck.

With passage in the House and approval by the Senate Committee, the prohibition could soon become law in the United States.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.