Leaders of the US Senate Intelligence Committee called Tuesday for an investigation into whether Chinese officials have access to the data of US TikTok users.
In a letter sent to the president of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC, for its acronym in English), Lina Khan, the senators urged her to examine how well the video platform protects private data.
“We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China have been accessing the data of US users, contrary to various public representations,” the letter said.
TikTok has consistently defended itself against these accusations, saying it does not give data about US users to the Chinese government even though its parent company, ByteDance, is based in China.
“We have spoken openly about our work to limit access to user data in all regions, and in our letter to senators last week we were clear about our progress in limiting access further through our work with Oracle,” a TikTok spokesperson said in response to a question from AFP.
“As we have repeatedly said, TikTok has never shared US user data with the Chinese government, nor would we if asked.”
In response to earlier queries from US authorities, TikTok had indicated in mid-June that all of its US-based user data was now stored on US servers operated by the US company Oracle.
The popular social media platform is under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an interagency government review board that assesses the risks of foreign investment to US national security.