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Senators accuse TikTok of misleading Congress on US user data

Two senators sent a letter to TikTok’s chief executive on Tuesday, accusing him of making misleading claims about how the company stores and handles US user data, and to submit more than a dozen questions to Congress by the end of next week. Demanding to answer.

The letter from Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee focused on how sensitive data about US users could be stored in China and accessed by employees there.

MPs said that the statements made during the recent reports of The New York Times and Forbes have raised questions Testimony to Congress in March Show Chew, CEO of TikTok and in October 2021 the hearing Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas. Tiktok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

“We are deeply troubled by TikTok’s recurring pattern of providing misleading, inaccurate or inaccurate information to Congress and its users in the United States, including during oversight hearings and letters to us in response,” they wrote.

TikTok has been working for years to convince the US government that it can separate its US operations and lock down US user data amid concerns that the company could provide that information to Chinese authorities.

“We are reviewing the letter,” said Alex Hourek, a spokesman for TikTok. “We remain confident in the accuracy of our testimony and Congress’s responses.”

forbes informed of Last month, TikTok stored sensitive financial information on creators, including social security numbers and tax IDs, on servers in China that could be accessed by employees there. Forbes said that TikTok uses ByteDance’s internal tools and database to manage payments to creators who earn money through the app.

many times informed of Earlier this month, TikTok and ByteDance shared US user data including driver’s licenses and potentially illegal content such as child sexual abuse material through an internal messaging and collaboration tool called Lark.

The information was often available in Lark “groups” — employees’ chat rooms — with thousands of members, dangerous for some workers because ByteDance workers in China and elsewhere could easily view the material. The Times learned that Lark data was stored on servers in China as late as last year. At the time, TikTok did not respond to a question on whether Lark data is currently stored in China.

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