US Cybersecurity Expert Backs TikTok Ban


On April 20, 2024, the United States House of Representatives passed a piece of legislation that would ban TikTok in the US if the app’s parent company, ByteDance, doesn’t sell its stake within a year. The US has an estimated 170 million TikTok users nationwide, many of whom are young people.

“My thoughts are that the app should be banned in America,” said Steven McKeon, cybersecurity expert and founder of MacguyverTech and MacNerd. “I believe that application was purposely sent from China to corrode American youth.”

Critics of the app, including McKeon, cite concerns over kids’ use of TikTok that include exposure to inappropriate content and misinformation; engaging kids in dangerous behavior (through the form of challenges); cyberbullying; its addictive nature, which can impact sleep, attention span and overall mental health; and data privacy, McKeon say this is a significant risk for TikTok users of all ages.

“I have direct experience with a client here in America who was hacked,” McKeon said. “TikTok was aggressively copying data from the app and then sending it directly to China. We saw in real time how the TikTok app was being used and very maliciously.”

Calling the app’s data sharing “extremely dangerous” and “an ongoing security threat to our infrastructure,” McKeon supports more vigorous efforts to protect children from online threats, more measures to safeguard the privacy of all users, and more robust ways of making companies liable for inappropriate or inaccurate content shared on their platforms.

“It’s more important than ever to stay safe on the web and take steps to protect all technology assets,” McKeon added.