Ashton Kutcher Warns Parents Against China’s TikTok Agenda

July 10th, 2021 3:23 PM

Actor Ashton Kutcher is concerned that China is using TikTok to influence the beliefs of young Americans.

In an appearance on American Optimist with Joe Lonsdale, Kutcher warned that China uses TikTok create “an anti-US propaganda”, and an “anti-Taiwanese propaganda effort.”

“If I’m China and I want to create a problem in that area of the world, specifically a Naval problem in the South China Sea, I would probably want to utilizeTikTok in order to influence the minds of Americans,” he said.

TikTok’s privacy policy allows the platform to share user data with ByteDance, its parent company.

“We may share all of the information we collect with a parent, subsidiary, or other affiliate of our corporate group,” the policy reads

The user data the platform collects is unlimited.

“They’ve collected ten of millions of pieces of data on Americans,” said Lewis. “This is big data. In the U.S. they use it for advertising ... in China, the state uses it for intelligence purposes,” Jim Lewis, senior vice president of the strategic technologies program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a foreign affairs think tank, told CNBC.

TikTok downplays the data sharing.

“We employ rigorous access controls and a strict approval process overseen by our U.S.-based leadership team, including technologies like encryption and security monitoring to safeguard sensitive user data,” a TikTok spokeswoman told CNBC at the time.

However, experts are concerned and say the Chinese government’s agenda with TikTok is problematic.

“Anytime [the Chinese government has] control over a platform like TikTok that has billions of users and is only getting more popular, it gives them power to feed our mind what we should think about, what we consider truth and what is false,” Ambuj Kumar, CEO of encryption-based cybersecurity company Fortanix said

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