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US Senator Proposes TikTok Ban for Government Workers

FILE - In this image from video, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks on the Senate floor about the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 5, 2020.

A U.S. senator is introducing legislation that would ban government employees from using the social media app TikTok on their government devices.

Josh Hawley, a Republican representing the state of Missouri, said at a hearing Wednesday the data the Chinese-owned app collects and the potential for it to be shared with China’s government represent a “majority security risk for the American people.”

He said similar bans are in place at some of the biggest federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the State Department.

Hawley did not say exactly when he would introduce the bill.

The effort is the latest security scrutiny of TikTok, which allows users to post and view short videos.

The company has said any data from U.S. users is stored in the United States and not subject to any Chinese government jurisdiction.

It says it understands the safety concerns, but thinks they are unfounded, and that it has reached out to lawmakers in order to explain its policies.