STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

DNC and RNC warn campaigns about using TikTok

The Democratic and Republican national committees warned their staffs about using the Chinese-owned app TikTok.The Democratic National Committee warne...

Posted: Jul 10, 2020 12:50 PM
Updated: Jul 11, 2020 10:15 AM

The Democratic and Republican national committees warned their staffs about using the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

The Democratic National Committee warned Democratic campaigns, committees and state parties Friday to take additional security precautions when using TikTok.

A copy of the warning was obtained by CNN.

In the email, the DNC security team wrote, 'We continue to advise campaign staff to refrain from using TikTok on personal devices. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend using a separate phone and account.'

Republican National Committee national press secretary Mandi Merritt said Saturday the RNC had longstanding guidance on TikTok.

'The RNC has advised employees and stakeholders to not download the TikTok app on their personal devices,' she said, citing 'security concerns.'

The DNC had suggested to campaigns in a memo in December not to use TikTok, citing concerns about the app's 'Chinese ties and potentially sending data back to the Chinese government.'

The memo also referenced a Russian app named FaceApp, a photo app that became a viral hit online last summer.

'Campaign staff should refrain from using foreign-developed apps such as FaceApp and TikTok. If your staff has already downloaded and used either app, they should delete the app and suspend their accounts. If you are using TikTok for campaign work, we recommend using a separate phone and account,' the memo read.

CNN also obtained the December memo. It was first reported in January by The Wall Street Journal.

In response to the DNC's guidance, a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to CNN, 'We are fully committed to protecting our users' privacy and security. Under the leadership of our American CEO, along with our Chief Information Security Officer and Head of Safety, TikTok's growing US team works diligently to develop a best-in-class security infrastructure and uphold our Community Guidelines which prohibit misleading and inauthentic content and accounts. We welcome a dialogue with anyone who has questions about TikTok so that we can ease concerns they may have.'

It is not the first time the DNC has warned campaigns about Chinese products. In 2018, the DNC warned campaigns not to use devices produced by Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei.

TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, has faced increased scrutiny this week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States is looking at banning the app.

The DNC security team said in Friday's email it had been getting more questions about TikTok after Pompeo's comments and after India's decision to ban the app amid heightened tensions with Beijing.

Friday's warning from the DNC came on the same day as Amazon also issued guidance to its employees about TikTok. The company told employees to remove TikTok from their devices immediately, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Asked for comment on Amazon's decision, a TikTok spokesperson said Amazon 'did not communicate to us before sending their email, and we still do not understand their concerns.'

But, TikTok added, 'We welcome a dialogue so we can address any issues they may have and enable their team to continue participating in our community.'

This headline and story have been updated with details from the RNC and a statement from TikTok.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154878

Reported Deaths: 2206
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31824528
Washington21099212
Marion18373285
Clackamas13328175
Lane10200126
Jackson8315111
Umatilla763982
Deschutes593459
Yamhill376764
Linn357756
Malheur334458
Polk303942
Klamath278455
Douglas244754
Josephine232849
Benton232516
Jefferson195128
Coos144019
Union128119
Columbia124821
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106429
Morrow104614
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6507
Curry4246
Tillamook4142
Lake3746
Harney2736
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3559311

Reported Deaths: 51794
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118923221241
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2860772783
Orange2607213982
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1102371777
Kern102627811
Fresno950151422
Sacramento929611464
Alameda802791241
Ventura77395834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55887946
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38872515
San Francisco34138398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano30024164
Merced28915395
Sonoma28004298
Imperial26855589
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15414209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12787185
Shasta10969174
Butte10922160
El Dorado9095100
Napa899869
Sutter884597
San Benito575259
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada394074
Mendocino379643
Amador344841
Humboldt318033
Lake314140
Glenn221923
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 37°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 42°
Medford
Mostly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 28° Lo: 13°
Feels Like: 37°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 37°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 26°
Drying out and warming up
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events