US senators ask to investigate whether the Chinese government spies through TikTok

US senators ask to investigate whether the Chinese government spies through TikTok

The House Intelligence Committee has recovered one of former President Trump’s old claims

The Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate has requested this Tuesday before the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the Chinese authorities have used the short video platform TikTok to spy on American citizens and steal their private data, something that the company itself denied when the Former President Donald Trump tested the possibility of banning the product in the country’s stores.

The letter, signed by the committee’s president, Mark Warner , and vice president, Marco Rubio , urges the Commission to study in detail the use that Chinese engineers and officials could make of the data collected by TikToK and the company that owns it, also china ByteDance.

“We write in response to public reports about individuals from the People’s Republic of China who have accessed US user data, contradicting other public statements and, specifically, a sworn testimony in October 2021 “, can be read in the letter.

The senators also underline the application’s link with the Chinese government , which has a percentage of the parent company ByteDance Technology.

Several private meetings would demonstrate the espionage of TikTok

In the letter, the Intelligence Committee cites an investigative article by Buzzfeed that claims Chinese employees of TikTok and ByteDance regularly accessed sensitive data of American users , according to a leak of recordings of internal company meetings.

According to that piece, the company transfers some of that collected data to officials in Beijing , despite the fact that TikTok representatives denied during a hearing before the US Congress, held in October 2021, any contact between the popular application and the Chinese government.

“Recent updates to TikTok’s privacy policy, indicating that it can collect biometric data such as facial prints and voice records, raises concerns that US user data may be vulnerable to extrajudicial access by law enforcement agencies. ” China’s security,” the letter added.

TikTok has been under scrutiny since 2019, when former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) demanded that ByteDance sell the application to US companies in order to continue operating in the country , although this measure was never carried out.

In Europe, TikTok last week pledged to align its practices with European Union rules on advertising and consumer protection, after dialogue with the European Commission and the network of national consumer protection authorities (CPCs).

Ben Oakley
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