A pair of House Republicans say they have launched an investigation into over-the-top video clip streaming site TikTok’s alleged sharing of American users’ data with China-based employees.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) have written to the company to request “all documents and communications outlining the relationship between TikTok and ByteDance, as well as any of their data sharing, access, and storage practices.”
Congress has been recently buzzing about TikTok following a Buzzfeed News article citing recordings from TikTok employees indicating that Chinese employees have access to user data, something TikTok has denied.
“In 2017, the CCP passed the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. This law requires individuals, organizations, and institutions to assist CCP Public Security and State Security officials in carrying out and executing ‘intelligence’ work,” the legislators said in announcing their letter. “It is unclear if this applies to only Chinese companies or encompasses those with any operating footprint in China, like ByteDance — TikTok’s parent company.”
Rodgers and Comer are not the only ones pressing TikTok over the BuzzFeed story.
Last week, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) teamed up to urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok based on the story.
Warner and Rubio are the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Senate Intelligence Committee. ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.