On October 24, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Tom Cotton announced that they had written to Joseph Maguire, the national intelligence agency’s executive director, requesting a formal national security risk assessment of Tik Tok. TikTok is an app owned by Byte Dance, and its other star products include DOUYIN, TOUTIAO, and more. TikTok has been downloaded more than 110 million times in the U.S.
Two U.S. senators have questioned TikTok’s data security issues, noting that while they claim that TikTok is not operating in China and that data is stored in the U.S., they remain concerned that China’s national security laws and regulations are forcing companies to cooperate with state-related work. U.S. intelligence agencies also mentioned the threat in its 2019 Global Threat Review.
In the letter, the U.S. senator suggested that the TikTok platform could also be a potential target for foreign influence, as happened on social media during the 2016 U.S. election. The senator also said TikTok may have reviewed specific content.
TikTok is in the spotlight in the United States. In early October, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on his own Twitter account that he would ask the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to review the deal for the video social app Musical.ly ,then integrated into TikTok. Because “there is ample and growing evidence that TikTok’s overseas platforms, including the US market, are sensoring content”.
On October 25th TikTok responded to content censorship and data security in an article on its official website. TikTok said he recognized the importance of these issues and thanked lawmakers and the public for their attention.
According to TikTok, All of TikTok’s U.S. user data is stored in the U.S. and provides backup support in Singapore. “Our data centers are located outside China and our data is not subject to Chinese law. “In addition, we have a dedicated technical team dedicated to complying with cybersecurity policies and meeting data privacy and security needs.” ”
On content review, TikTok said, “TikTok has not removed any sensitive Chinese-related content and has never been asked by the Chinese government to remove any content.” We wouldn’t have done that if we were asked. TikTok points out that its U.S. operations review content in accordance with local U.S. policies, just as other U.S. companies do. “We are not influenced by any foreign government, including the Chinese government. TikTok does not operate in China and has no plans to do so in the future. “