A whistleblower has confirmed that the communist Chinese government-tied TikTok does not protect user data as much as it claims to.
According to a letter from the office of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a former ByteDance employee has warned Americans that their user data is not safe with the anti-free speech platform TikTok. Axios was given exclusive access to the letter.
The whistleblower said TikTok’s access controls on U.S. data are “‘superficial at best,’” contradicting a claim made by TikTok’s Chief Operating Officer, Vanessa Pappas, about the app’s security measures. At the time, Pappas told Congress that TikTok has “strict controls” over who accesses user data and how.
“Is it any wonder that a communist Chinese government-tied platform would try to gobble up the user data of its adversary the United States?” asked MRC Free Speech America & MRC Business Director Michael Morris. “It should come as little surprise considering how the totalitarian Chinese regime treats its own citizenry — spying on them and using an Orwellian, dystopian social credit system to suppress freedom. This is what communism does.”
The whistleblower reports having personally witnessed “‘China-based engineers flipping over to non-China datasets and creating scheduled tasks to backup, aggregate, and analyze data.’”
If the whistleblower’s statements are true, then TikTok deliberately lied to Congress, and Hawley has called on Congress to take action. Hawley wrote:
"This whistleblower’s allegations are deeply concerning. They also appear to contradict public statements made by TikTok and ByteDance executives," Hawley wrote, later referencing the app’s troubling ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). "The whistleblower describes TikTok’s access controls on U.S. data as 'superficial' at best, where they exist at all. As an example, he describes how TikTok and ByteDance employees — including members of the Chinese Communist Party known to be on ByteDance’s payroll — can switch between Chinese and U.S. data with nothing more than the click of a button … .”
Hawley further asked Yellen to provide Congress with TikTok’s disclosures relating to access to user data in the United States.
Meanwhile, the anti-free speech app’s troubles are mounting around the world.
In an exclusive interview with MRC Free Speech America, Commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission Brendan Carr said that “the tide is moving out on TikTok whether it’s in Europe or the U.S. and there’s really no amount of prevaricating and gaslighting that they can do at this point I think to avert that.”
Carr praised states for banning the app on government-owned devices and encouraged the federal government to follow suit.
“[W]e can’t simply acknowledge the problem and not take the appropriate action. That’s why it’s important for the federal government, for the Treasury Department to take step two, which is to move forward with either a nationwide ban of TikTok or some type of solution that involves a complete decoupling of TikTok from a corporate structure from any entity that is beholden to the CCP.”
Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 10010 Venice Blvd #301, Culver City, CA 90232 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.