Bipartisan Senators Ask FTC To Investigate TikTok For Data Breaches

Both Democratic and Republican senators have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate TikTok. “There is bipartisan consensus on this threat and no excuse for inaction while Americans remain at risk,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America.

Marco Rubio (R. Fla.) and Mark Warner(D. Va.) requested that Lina Khan, Chair of FTC, investigate allegations from TikTok CEO Shou Zi Cheng that the social media site shares U.S. users data with Chinese employees.

Rubio made special comments about TikTok and MRC Free Speech America, highlighting the importance of investigating it. “TikTok is a known national security risk that robs Americans of their privacy and places users’ sensitive data into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party,” Rubio said. “There is bipartisan consensus on this threat and no excuse for inaction while Americans remain at risk. The Biden Administration must ban TikTok from U.S. telecommunications networks.”

A statement from Senator Warner’s office included the text of the letter to Khan:

“We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021. In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 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.”

Concerns were also voiced by senators about ByteDance Technology (parent company TikTok) which is partly owned by China Communist Party (CCP). 

“TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information. Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, which indicate that TikTok may be collecting biometric data such as faceprints and voiceprints (i.e. individually-identifiable image and audio data, respectively), heighten the concern that data of U.S. users may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by security services controlled by the CCP.”

NewsBusters revealed that Chew reversed his claim that Chinese-based employees could access U.S. data. 

Chew stated that “Employees from the US, including China, have access to TikTok US user details subject to a series robust cybersecurity controls, authorization approval protocols monitored by our US security team.”

Chew allegedly claimed that the accessed data required “approval” based on data classification.

TikTok’s internal data classification process and approval process assign access levels according to the data’s classification. They also require approvals to gain access US user data. According to the classified system, the level required approval is determined by the data’s sensitiveness.

Conservatives under attack Contact your local representative and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s Use the contact formHelp us to hold Big Tech responsible.

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