- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2020

The popular Chinese social media app TikTok is officially a no-go for the U.S. Army.

Recruiters who thought they would be using the video and music app to reach Generation Z will have to come up with a new idea. Officials now say the product risks operational security.

“It is considered a cyber threat,” Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa, an Army spokeswoman, recently told Military.com. “We do not allow it on government phones.”

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, generated over 1.5 billion downloads in 2019.

Lt. Col. Crystal X. Boring, a public affairs officer for the Army, expanded on the new policy Tuesday in a statement to NBC News.

The officer attributed the decision to guidance by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

“The message directs appropriate action for employees to take in order to safeguard their personal information,” Lt. Col. Boring said. “The guidance is to be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts, etc. and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information.”

Soldiers cannot be prohibited from downloading the app on personal phones, although they have been warned to delete “unusual and unsolicited texts,” Military.com reported.

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