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Senators urge FTC to investigate allegations against TikTok data privacy

Democratic senator from Virginia, mark Warner and Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio on Tuesday called up on Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America to investigate allegations against social media app TikTok.

For last few weeks, TikTok has been facing immense social and political audit following a report by BuzzFeed on how engineers of and executives of TikTok in China got accesses to app data of users from the United States.

TikTok had earlier countered the allegations in various statement, press releases and even in hearings at various lawmaking houses that data of users of the app in the US is stored and processed only in the country itself.

TikTok in a letter sent last Thursday to media personnel and authorities, pressed the fact that the company has not misled congress or American public regarding data protection and privacy of user data.

In the same letter, company acknowledged that employees based in China can have access to data of users of the app in the United States, but subject to a series of robust cybersecurity controls and various protocols. Company added that these authorization protocols and security control guidelines are overseen by a security company based in the United States.

BuzzFeed’s report was very much contradictory to companies claims and led to a huge furore in capital hill and outside calling for investigation and banning of the app.

According to a letter accessed by media firms, senators urged chair of FTC Lina Khan, act promptly on matter of allegations against TikTok regarding data security, data processing and various governance practices.

Even though Federal Trade Commission acknowledged on the receiving of the letters, there has been no comments or statement reading what FTC is planning to do about the allegations and call for investigations.

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mark Warner, D-Va., at a hearing in Washington on March 10

TikTok said on Tuesday that it never shared data of any users from the United States to Chinese government, and that even the f asked by Chinese government, the company would not do it. Chief Executive Officer of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew told senators that the company is working with the federal administration and various stakeholders to come to a final agreement which would “fully safeguard user data and US national security interests.”

A few days ago, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr sent a letter to Apple and Google requesting them to take down the TikTok app from their app stores. According to Mr Carr, the social media app was being used by the communist party of china to track and analyse data of the users in the United States.

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