The leaders of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have written a letter urging Federal Trade Commission Chairman Lina Khan to investigate TikTok in response to a report indicating that the CCP is harvesting US user data.
Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have appealed the Department of Justice to “immediately” initiate a Section 5 probe into the reported deception of more than one billion users on TikTok.
In 2019, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) began investigating national security issues involving TikTok. In 2020, President Donald Trump was scheduled to ban the social media app entirely over concerns that the CCP was not only using Americans’ individual data, but also spreading CCP’s propaganda.
In a letter dated Tuesday, July 5th, the senators indicated that a report last month revealed that TikTok allowed employees based in the Communist China to have unrestrained access to user data, including dates of birth, phone numbers and device identification information.
Despite the fact that TikTok had proposed to mitigate security issues by transferring the storage system to the US, it appears from these latest disclosures that TikTok’s proposals are not reliable.
TikTok can eventually control all access to the cloud hosted system, and given the violations in corporate governance, the risk of engineers from the CCP or the CCP security services accessing the data remains high.