TikTok may be ready to give up its efforts to appease US officials in the wake of repeated privacy issues and violations.
TikTok has been under fire for years, stumbling from one privacy misstep to another. There have also been ongoing concerns that TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, poses a national security risk as a result of being based in China. The Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to force ByteDance to sell off TikTok’s US assets.
In an effort to appease US officials, TikTok was willing to undergo external audits to prove its algorithms were not influenced by Beijing, with Oracle tasked with performing the audits.
According to Reuters, via Android Police, TikTok appears to be backing away from that strategy. The company was interviewing potential consultants to help it enforce any deal the US might impose, but has since put its recruitment efforts on hold for the time being.
The company said the holdup is a result of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States not yet approving any deal. The company also says it is instead focusing on candidates that would not require approval by the CFIUS.
In the wake of revelations that ByteDance used TikTok to surveil American journalists, the platform’s situation has gone from bad to worse. Multiple states and the House of Representatives have banned the platform from government-owned devices, and many are calling for an outright ban of the app.
Whatever TikTok’s motivations, hiring experts that don’t require CFIUS approval is unlikely to win the company any goodwill among regulators and legislators.