TikTok is being accused by House Republicans of giving congressional employees “false or misleading” information regarding the app’s handling of user data during a briefing in September.
“We still have unanswered questions, and the Committee requested responding papers, but you did not supply them. In a letter dated Tuesday to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, the lawmakers stated that some of the information the company presented during the staff briefing appeared to be false or deceptive, including the claim that TikTok did not track U.S. user locations.
The ranking members of the Committees on Oversight and Reform and Energy and Commerce, Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), respectively, said in the letter that TikTok assured lawmakers that it did not track users’ internet data while they weren’t using the app and that employees based in China cannot access U.S. user data.
The MPs stated that “both allegations appear to be deceptive at best, and untrue at worst.” Comer and Rodgers have given the TikTok CEO until December 6 to provide them with various documents, electronic data, and communications about their complaints.
Additionally, they want “all drafts and iterations” of any agreements made with the Biden administration that would keep TikTok active in the United States.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese parent company ByteDance, has long been the subject of Republican lawmakers’ attention. However, the new letter may indicate that the party is stepping up its investigations as it gets ready to assume control of the House in the upcoming Congress.
Republican lawmakers have stated that they intend to look into a variety of issues, including the border between the United States and Mexico, America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) indicated earlier this week that if elected Speaker of the incoming GOP-majority House, he planned to establish a House select committee on China to press China on the COVID-19 outbreak.
But not only the GOP has expressed concern about TikTok; many people have also expressed concern about the app’s connections to the Chinese government and its exploitation of user data from Americans.
TikTok has been referred to as an “enormous threat” by Democratic Sen. Mark Warner (Va.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who said parents should be “extremely concerned” about their children’s use of the app earlier this week.
All of the information that your child inputs and receives is kept someplace in Beijing, according to Warner.