The two high members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok and its father or mother firm over how it handles user data.
In a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee’s chairman, and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., its vice chairman, cited latest information stories that TikTok’s father or mother firm, China-based ByteDance, has been “accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations.”
“We ask that your agency immediately initiate [an] investigation on the basis of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or counter-intelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice,” the senators wrote. “Additionally, these recent reports suggest that TikTok has also misrepresented its corporate governance practices.”
Last month, Buzzfeed News reported that U.S. user data has been repeatedly accessed from China, elevating safety issues that China’s authorities may entry delicate private data by way of backdoor strategies. TikTok known as the report deceptive.
On Tuesday, TikTok mentioned that it limits entry to U.S. user data throughout areas, together with to China.
“That access is subject to a series of robust controls, safeguards like encryption for certain data, and authorization approval protocols overseen by our U.S.-based leadership/security team,” Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s vp and head of public coverage, Americas, mentioned in an announcement.
TikTok final month mentioned it had moved data on U.S. customers to Oracle Corp.
servers, “to give users even more peace of mind.”
But that didn’t allay the senators’ issues.
“While TikTok has suggested that migrating to U.S.-based storage from a U.S. cloud service provider alleviates any risk of unauthorized access, these latest revelations raise concerns about the reliability of TikTok representations,” they wrote. “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,” they mentioned to the FTC’s Khan.
The safety of TikTok’s data has been a difficulty for years, and in 2020 the Trump administration ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok, although that coverage was by no means resolved following the election.
Last week, Brendon Carr, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, requested Apple Inc.
and Alphabet Inc.’s
Google to take away TikTok from their app shops, saying it poses a nationwide safety risk, citing the revelations within the Buzzfeed report.