Marco Rubio, Mark Warner Call for FTC Probe into China’s Access to American TikTok User Data

Marco Rubio at CPAC
AP Photo/John Raoux

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA)  have called on the FTC to investigate Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and its China-based employees’ access to U.S. user data. The Senators believe the Chinese company’s “repeated misrepresentations” deserve deep scrutiny by the federal government.

Reuters reports that Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner have called on the FTC to investigate Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and its parent company ByteDance following “repeated misrepresentations” of the companies handling of U.S. data.

Shouzi Chew, chief executive officer of TikTok Inc. (Photographer: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)

Three girls watching TikTok videos

(Luiza Nalimova/Getty)

The request comes following multiple reports of TikTok engineers and executives in China having access to the private data of U.S. users. “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 to FTC Chair Lina Khan.

Breitbart News recently reported that TikTok has revealed that certain company employees based in China have access to the personal information of American users. The company’s admission came in a letter to nine U.S. senators who accused TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance Ltd., of monitoring U.S. citizens.

The senators asked TikTok whether China-based employees have access to U.S. users’ data, what role those employees play in developing TikTok’s algorithm, and if any of that information was shared with the Chinese government.

The CEO of TikTok parent company ByteDance, Shou Zi Chew, said in a June 30 letter that China-based employees who clear a number of internal security protocols can access certain information on U.S.-based TikTok users including public videos and comments. Chew claims that none of this information is shared with the Chinese government and is subject to “robust cybersecurity controls.”

Read more at Reuters here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address


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