China’s communist regime is in a cold war with the United States and seeks to use data gathered by companies like TikTok against American interests, according to a former Pentagon official.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will use apps like TikTok as weapons of mass manipulation and misinformation, according to Nicolas Chaillan, former chief software officer of the U.S. Air Force.
“What you’re going to find is now 40 percent of kids under 24 are using TikTok as the way to search for information,” Chaillan said during an interview with EpochTV that aired on Oct. 18.
“When you look at what the CCP has been doing, for many years now, information and the control of information is probably the cornerstone of being able to push that agenda to the American people.”
Chaillan’s comments follow a rough couple of weeks for TikTok, which has faced allegations that it allowed political ads with false claims and misinformation ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
The company previously admitted that it had censored users at the behest of the CCP, but claims to no longer participate in the practice.
TikTok Key to CCP Efforts to Steal Technology
For Chaillan, TikTok and its China-based parent company, ByteDance, present a unique problem for U.S. national security, as both companies’ ties to the CCP mean that detailed and sensitive information on U.S. citizens could be passed on to a hostile regime.
“The issue you’re going to see with TikTok is multifaceted,” Chaillan said. “Effectively, you’re going to find the data issue with potential access to personal information, including face prints, and voiceprints, which can ultimately give access to future payment systems.”
Chaillan said that China was already deploying authentication systems for financial systems that rely on facial recognition. As TikTok scoops users’ information about their facial, vocal, and typing patterns, this information could be used by CCP assets to steal from or impersonate Americans.