Senators seek update on US security review of TikTok

A group of six Republican senators on Friday asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the ongoing national security review of the Biden administration of the social media platform TikTok.

The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews foreign acquirer deals for potential national security risks, in 2020 ordered Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok over concerns it could transfer US user data to China. communist government.

Last week, TikTok said it had completed migrating information about its US users to servers at Oracle Corp, as it seeks to address US concerns about data safety.

Senators Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Mike Brown, Marco Rubio, Todd Young and Roger Wicker asked Yellen many questions saying that the administration “apparently did nothing to enforce” the August 2020 divestiture order. The results of the security reviews, likewise, were not made public after one year.”

Senators want to know “Will TikTok be run domestically in the US?” and “Will the US government have the ability to routinely access and preview the algorithm’s source code?” It also asks “What assurances does the US government make that TikTok will store US data and adopt privacy policies with adequate protection?”

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Former President Donald Trump tried to prevent new users from downloading WeChat and TikTok and block other transactions that would have effectively banned the apps from being used in the United States but lost a series of court battles.

President Joe Biden in June 2021 withdrew a series of Trump executive orders that sought to ban new app downloads and ordered the Commerce Department to conduct a review of the security concerns posed by the apps.

The senators said TikTok’s proposal to store its users’ information in the US without access to ByteDance “would do little to address underlying security concerns.”

Sources said CFIUS is in extensive discussions with TikTok regarding security issues. A Yellen spokesman declined to comment on Friday.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps in the world, with over a billion active users globally, and the United States is its largest market.

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