Get 40% Off
🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Two senators call for FTC probe into TikTok over U.S. data access

Published 07/05/2022, 06:23 PM
Updated 07/05/2022, 08:50 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is pictured outside the company's U.S. head office in Culver City, California, U.S.,  September 15, 2020.   REUTERS/Mike Blake//File Photo

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chair and top Republican have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate social media app TikTok and Chinese parent ByteDance due to "repeated misrepresentations" over its handling of U.S. data.

The request on Tuesday from Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, and Republican Marco Rubio followed a Buzzfeed report saying the short video app permitted TikTok engineers and executives in China to repeatedly access private data of U.S. users. The senators said such access raised questions over TikTok's claims to lawmakers and users that the data was protected.

"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 FTC Chair Lina Khan.

TikTok said Tuesday https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/our-approach-to-keeping-us-data-secure that access to data "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."

The company responded to the senators' letter by reiterating "TikTok has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government, nor would we if asked."

The FTC confirmed it had received the letter but declined further comment.

Last week, TikTok told U.S. senators it was working on a final agreement with the Biden Administration that would "fully safeguard user data and U.S. national security interests."

TikTok acknowledged in a letter Thursday that China-based employees "can have access to TikTok U.S. user data subject to a series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols overseen by our U.S.-based security team."

TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew told senators it was working with Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) on "new advanced data security controls that we hope to finalize in the near future."

The senators' letter https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/3/e/3eeb87b3-e9b5-4aa4-8ea1-361a8472ff46/A42795C63518B32671F9ACCF82B1E26A.khan-ssci-tiktok-letter.pdf cited a BuzzFeed news story about leaked internal recordings that said China-based employees of ByteDance had at the "very least" access to U.S. data.

TikTok's letter Thursday said hit had not misled Congress about its data and security controls and practices.

Last month, TikTok said it had completed migrating information on its U.S. users to servers at Oracle but it was still using U.S. and Singapore data centers for backup.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The TikTok logo is pictured outside the company's U.S. head office in Culver City, California, U.S.,  September 15, 2020.   REUTERS/Mike Blake//File Photo

It has been nearly two years since a U.S. national security panel ordered parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok because of fears that U.S. user data could be passed on to China's communist government.

TikTok is one of the world's most popular social media apps, with more than 1 billion active users globally, and counts the United States as its largest market.

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.