TikTok is again in Washington’s crosshairs as the Senate Intelligence Committee has called for a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into the tech giant amidst concern about its lack of protection of U.S. users’ data from Chinese officials.
In a letter sent to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Mark Warner of Virginia and vice chairman Marco Rubio of Florida write that “in light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter.” In the letter, the committee leaders cite a Buzzfeed investigation that found TikTok employees in China could access U.S. users’ information, directly contradicting sworn testimony by the company’s Head of Public Policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman.
Tik Tok repeatedly misrepresented their handling of U.S. data.
The FTC must investigate to find out what they are doing with Americans’ personal information. https://t.co/OPnsmytpBL
— Team Marco (@TeamMarco) July 7, 2022
“For two years, we’ve talked openly about our work to limit access to user data across regions, and in our letter to senators last week we were clear about our progress in limiting access even further through our work with Oracle. As we’ve said repeatedly, TikTok has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government, nor would we if asked,” a TikTok spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is adding its voice to a growing cacophony of politicians and regulators that have expressed concerns with the video sharing platform’s use of data.
On June 27, nine Republican Senators wrote a public letter to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew asking for clarification on how the tech giant stores user data. Days later, the Federal Communications Commission called upon Apple and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to remove TikTok from their respective app stores, citing similar data privacy concerns.
Senators Warner and Rubio did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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