Photo taken on Aug. 21, 2020 shows a logo of TikTok's Los Angeles Office in Culver City, Los Angeles County, the United States. (Xinhua)
Ferre-Pavia said she didn't see a difference in nature between TikTok and Facebook or WhatsApp. "Clearly there's a political campaign against TikTok because it's a Chinese company, that seems obvious to me."
BARCELONA, Spain, March 10 (Xinhua) -- A potential ban on the TikTok -- a social media platform owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance -- proposed by United States lawmakers citing national security concerns is "clearly" politically motivated, a Spanish expert has said.
"Clearly there's a political campaign against TikTok because it's a Chinese company, that seems obvious to me," Carme Ferre-Pavia, professor of communication studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.
Ferre-Pavia said she didn't see a difference in nature between TikTok and Facebook or WhatsApp.
"What I can see is that the danger of leaks exists everywhere," the professor explained.
Ferre-Pavia points out that if there are concerns of confidential information leak from official or government devices, all social media apps should probably be forbidden from certain meetings or environments -- without TikTok being unfairly singled out.
Photo taken on Dec, 1, 2020 shows a mobile phone running the TikTok app in Cairo, Egypt. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)
TikTok has become one of the fastest growing social media apps in the world, especially among young people.
A bill to ban the app introduced by U.S. senators, who say it poses a threat to national security, was last week backed by the White House, which ordered that TikTok be removed from government-issued devices.
Last month, staff at the European Commission were ordered to remove the TikTok app from their phones and corporate devices to "protect data and increase cybersecurity." Government authorities in Canada soon followed suit.
TikTok has responded by announcing new security measures to protect user information in a plan known as "Project Clover," in which user data will be stored on servers in Europe, while any data transfers outside Europe will be vetted by a third-party information technology company.
Photo taken on Aug. 11, 2020 shows a mobile phone running the TikTok app in London, Britain. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)
A similar project costing over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars is underway in the United States as ByteDance aims to restructure how it safeguards the data of its 100 million American users in partnership with U.S. cloud software group Oracle.
"I don't think Europe should just be in line against TikTok," said Ferre-Pavia, "European parliamentarians to ban TikTok doesn't seem to me a response that's either appropriate or proportionate," Ferre-Pavia said. ■