Senators meet with FTC Chairman Khan to investigate TikTok’s data protection practices

Federal Trade Commission chair Leena Khan is facing renewed pressure from top Senate intelligence leaders following new reports that the company shares US data with China-based workers.

In a letter to Khan on Tuesday, Senate Intelligence Committee leaders, Sens Mark Warner (D-VA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), called on the FTC to launch an investigation into TikTok’s data security practices. call comes after june Buzzfeed News The report detailed how China-based ByteDance engineers had access to TikTok’s US data as of January 2022.

“In light of TikTok’s repeated misrepresentations about its data security, data processing and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act immediately on this matter,” the senators wrote.

The senators’ latest call for an investigation comes amid a new wave of regulatory skepticism against TikTok. After Buzzfeed After the report was released last month, Brendan Carr, a Republican with the Federal Communications Commission, called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their App Stores. Later, a bipartisan group of senators wrote to the CEO of TikTok, Shaw Zi Chew, seeking answers regarding the app’s data protection practices.

On Friday, Chew responded to US lawmakers, confirming that China-based employees can access US user data. Chew also pointed out that TikTok was “working with Oracle to implement new advanced data protection controls, which we expect to be finalized in the near future.”

Since 2020, government officials have accused TikTok of sharing US user data with the Chinese government, effectively allowing Chinese authorities to track and survey Americans. TikTok has tried to address the concerns of lawmakers, but Chew’s latest letter has drawn even more criticism.

in a statement on Tuesday“For years, TikTok has assured lawmakers that user data – and business operations – were effectively firewalled from the People’s Republic of China,” Warner said. “It’s a real concern when major communications apps are subject to authoritarian government requests,” he continued.

In a statement last week, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) called on TikTok to testify before Congress in light of recent reports.

“TikTok’s response confirms that our fears about the CCP effect within the company are well-founded,” Blackburn said. “He should have clarified from the beginning, but instead he tried to keep his work a secret. Americans need to know that if they are on TikTok, Communist China has their information. Tiktok needs to come back and testify before Congress. ,

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