A bunch of six Republican senators on Friday requested the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about an ongoing Biden administration nationwide safety evaluation of social media platform TikTok.
The US authorities’s Committee on International Funding in the US (CFIUS), which evaluations offers by overseas acquirers for potential nationwide safety dangers, in 2020 ordered Chinese language guardian firm ByteDance to divest TikTok due to fears that the US consumer information may very well be handed on to China’s communist authorities.
Senators Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Mike Braun, Marco Rubio, Todd Younger and Roger Wicker requested Yellen quite a few questions saying the administration “has seemingly accomplished nothing to implement” the August 2020 divestiture order.” They famous “the outcomes of the safety evaluations, likewise, haven’t been publicly launched after one yr.”
The senators wish to know “will TikTok be regionally managed in the US?” and “Will the US authorities have the flexibility to routinely entry and examine the algorithm’s supply code?” It additionally asks “what assurances does the US authorities have that TikTok will retailer US information and undertake privateness insurance policies with sufficient protections?”
TikTok didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Former President Donald Trump tried to dam new customers from downloading WeChat and TikTok and ban different transactions that will have successfully blocked the apps’ use in the US however misplaced a sequence of courtroom battles.
President Joe Biden in June 2021 withdrew a sequence of Trump’s govt orders that sought to ban new downloads of the apps and ordered the Commerce Division to conduct a evaluation of safety issues posed by the apps.
The senators mentioned the proposal for TikTok to retailer its US customers’ data with out ByteDance entry “would do little to handle the core safety issues.”
CFIUS has been in in depth discussions with TikTok on safety points, sources have mentioned. A spokesman for Yellen declined to remark Friday.
TikTok is likely one of the world’s hottest social media apps, with greater than 1 billion lively customers globally, and counts the US as its largest market.
© Thomson Reuters 2022