WASHINGTON — A prominent TikTok lawmaker in North Carolina said Wednesday that while he acknowledges «real» security concerns related to the Chinese-owned video app, he also opposes an outright ban.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson, who has 1.2 million followers on TikTok, said in an interview that he attributes some of his public recognition to the popular app, which has helped him reach voters of all ages.

“It just so happens that you get a lot more views on TikTok than you do on Instagram or Facebook. Like 10 times more,» Jackson, 40, told NBC News. «I’ve been able to reach a lot of people, and at the same time, I think the safety concerns are real.»

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned in November that the app owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd. posed national security risks and that the Chinese government could use it to influence American users or control their devices.

«I don’t think he was being hyperbolic,» Jackson said of Wray’s assessment.

Jackson said the data privacy and algorithm concerns for the app highlighted by Wray «will be very difficult to resolve as long as this remains a Chinese-owned company.»

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will testify for the first time before Congress, at a hearing Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. His appearance comes amid a bipartisan push to address security concerns surrounding the app, but also as TikTok supporters voice opposition to a possible ban.

Asked if he thought TikTok was too big to ban, based on its millions of users in the US, Jackson said: «I think they have arguments about how many Americans are using this, and I think the point is that a prohibition is clearly not the best case scenario».

Instead, he argued, a change in ownership was «necessary at this time.»

A TikTok spokesperson said last week: «If the goal is to protect national security, divestment does not solve the problem: a change of ownership would not impose new restrictions on data flows or access.»

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week that the United States did not provide any evidence that TikTok poses a threat to its national security.

Defending his own use of the app, Jackson said he has taken steps to ensure data protection, including maintaining a «disposable phone» whose only app is TikTok. He said he doesn’t have the app on his personal or government-issued phones. TikTok is prohibited on mobile devices issued by House.

«It’s worth having a dedicated phone and sometimes being a pain in the ass to use just because there are so many people I can reach,» Jackson said.

A measure banning TikTok on some government devices was included in a $1.7 trillion overhead spending bill that President Joe Biden signed into law late last year.

For Jackson, whose TikTok base is surpassed by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 1.4 million, the app has helped him reach a wide audience, including users at a senior center in his district.

“People appreciate that I’m on TikTok,” the first-term lawmaker said. «Frankly, I get recognized more in public thanks to TikTok than any other app. People mentioned seeing me on TikTok more than anywhere else.»