Two GOP senators ask the FTC to investigate TikTok’s data collection practices

Platform Economy: TikTok and US politics

Two prominent US Republican senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission for an investigation of video-sharing app TikTok’s customer data collection and processing practices.

The request was made in a letter by Senator Jerry Moran, chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Senator John Thune, chair of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.

The senators sought specific answers from the FTC related to a Wall Street Journal report that described TikTok’s undisclosed collection and transmission of data from countless US consumers until November 2019.

“There are allegations that TikTok discretely collected media access control (MAC) addresses, commonly used for advertisement targeting purposes… through November 2019,” said the letter, which was addressed to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons.

The letter is the latest example of Washington’s mounting evaluation of a Chinese-owned company over national security concerns. Under a Chinese law released in 2017, employers have an obligation to support and cooperate in China’s national intelligence work.

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President Trump on the 6th of August signed an executive order prohibiting transactions with TikTok if its Chinese parent ByteDance does not reach a deal to divest it within 45 days.

A company spokeswoman said the current TikTok app does not collect MAC addresses.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Nandita Bose and David Shepardson in Washington. Editing by Grant McCool.

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