TikTok Deals With Security Concerns Over User’s Privacy From Japanese Lawmaker

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, has been facing security concerns in Japan after India and the U.S. In Japan, a lawmaker from the ruling party of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that change in control of the Japanese unit of TikTok might become one way to address user data security concerns.

Recently, Norihiro Nakayama, a senior member of a group of lawmakers from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has said that it is highly unlikely to seek a ban on TikTok and other apps. Rather the group will push for measures to ensure the protection of user data.

Nakayama comments follow the rising pressure from U.S. President Trump who recently issues orders to ByteDance to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok within 90 days. The orders have come amid the user’s safety and privacy concerns about personal data handled by Chinese tech and media firms.

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On Tuesday’s interview, Japan’s parliamentary vice foreign minister, Nakayama said “We want to create an environment in which users can continue using TikTok, in which they can use it safely.”

He said to the media that one approach on the issue can be changed in ownership for ByteDance’s local operation. He also stressed that these are his personal views and not the consensus of the group. The group is led by Akira Amari, an LDP heavyweight and close ally of PM Abe.

In response, TikTok, a video streaming app, said that to date they have never provided the data of their user to China and even if asked, the company would not do so.

On Sept. 10, Japanese lawmakers are planning to compile a set of proposals. Nakayama said the proposal aims to recommend examining is the concern raised by the U.S. and many countries over the security of user data is warranted in the case of TikTok and other Chinese apps.