TikTok has long been under the scrutiny of U.S. intelligence and Homeland Security officials.
The social media app, which is centered around short bite-size videos, is owned in part by the Chinese Communist Party and boasts an impressive 1 billion users.
Senators Mark Warner (D-VA.) and Marco Rubio (R-FL.) raised the most recent concerns about the social media platform, asking the FTC to open a probe into the app and the company.
Their concern lies in whether or not the parent company of the app, ByteDance, is accessing sensitive U.S. user data and sharing it with the Chinese Communist Party.
ByteDance has categorically denied these claims and cited that all U.S. user data is routed to a U.S.-based security team.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi also stated that the platform would never hand over this U.S. user data to the Chinese Communist Party even if they demanded it.
Critics were quick to cite China’s national intelligence policies which would compel TikTok and ByteDance to hand over any data the CCP requests.
Indeed, the CCP not only has regulatory sway over both TikTok and ByteDance but, as mentioned previously, is a part-owner of the Beijing-based app platform.
Despite this, spokespeople for TikTok continue to deny that the Beijing-based platform has any concerning connection to its American subsidiary.
Here’s more on the story:
As senators urge FTC regulators to investigate TikTok over concerns about user data collection, the EU passes new laws on digital markets and tech companies. @alexiskweed explains: pic.twitter.com/YtHYzdayJm
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) July 6, 2022
NEW: Dem Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner has called on the FTC to investigate Chinese company TikTok over reports that the company has been accessing private U.S. citizens’ data, despite claiming it was protected.
This should be a bigger story.
— Justin Horwitz (@JustinAHorwitz) July 5, 2022
The Hill offered this quote from the senators:
“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,” the senators wrote.
The two top members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok and its parent company over how it handles the data of U.S. users, claiming "apparent deception."https://t.co/9RBE6yE6bH
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) July 6, 2022
Sens. Warner and Rubio call on the FTC to investigate TikTok and Chinese parent ByteDance due to “repeated misrepresentations” over its handling of U.S. data. https://t.co/pFLsCbuANH
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 6, 2022
According to Washington Examiner:
Warner’s and Rubio’s remarks arose weeks after a BuzzFeed report revealed that the company’s Chinese employees were able to access U.S. user data.