Big Tech is embedded more and more in the fabric of everyday life.
Tech titans are gathering a disturbing amount of power and influence.
But Senator Marco Rubio put a Big Tech titan on notice with one stunning move.
TikTok is the fastest growing social media platform in the country powered by its wild popularity with younger Americans.
It has passed legacy social media giants like Facebook and Twitter to become the most downloaded app in the world.
As TikTok took users from established social media companies they’ve been copying its features for their own platforms.
TikTok became the first Chinese Big Tech company to break through in the West.
This fast-growing social media giant’s ties to the Communist Chinese government are drawing increasing scrutiny.
A bombshell report from Buzzfeed News revealed that TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has access to all of the data on U.S. users.
“Everything is seen in China,” said a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety department in leaked audio.
TikTok has one of the most aggressive data collection efforts on user out of any of the Big Tech companies.
Users have their search histories, web browser data—along with biometric information like their voice and face “prints”—harvested by the app.
Chinese tech companies have close ties with the Communist government’s intelligence agencies that use them to help with their surveillance efforts.
TikTok’s data could be in the hands of the Chinese government as part of a massive surveillance and psychological warfare scheme against Americans.
President Trump sounded the alarm about TikTok forcing the company to be sold off from ByteDance at the end of his presidency.
This decision was quickly reversed after Joe Biden took office.
One has to wonder what role Hunter Biden’s business ties to China—which leaked voice messages from his laptop prove Joe Biden was well aware of—may have played in that decision.
Nevertheless, with concern growing over TikTok’s disturbing ties to China, politicians in both parties are demanding action be taken.
The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chair, Mark Warner (D-VA), and the top Republican on the committee, Marco Rubio, called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance for “repeated misrepresentations” over its handling of American users’ data.
“In light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing, and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter,” the senators wrote FTC Chair Lina Khan.
American TikTok executives previously testified before Congress under oath that the Chinese didn’t have access to user data.
TikTok responded to the Senators saying, “TikTok has never shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government, nor would we if asked.”
The FTC declined to comment on the Senators’ request.
This is the latest move against TikTok in the wake of the bombshell report from Buzzfeed.
Federal Communications Commission commissioner Brendan Carr wrote a letter to the CEOs of Google and Apple asking that they remove TikTok from their app stores.
“At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data,” Carr wrote.
With bipartisan pushback against TikTok, pressure is growing on a company dubbed by critics as the Chinese spyware app.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.