The letter from 4 senators was addressed to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of TikTok owner ByteDance.
Four U.S. senators today urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate claims that the very popular video app TikTok, which is owned by a company tied to China's military and government, violated a consent decree to protect children's privacy.
In their letter, lawmakers noted a report by the Center for Digital Democracy, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and others saying that Chinese-owned TikTok had failed to take down videos made by children under age 13 as it agreed under a 2019 consent agreement with the FTC.
“Faced with compelling evidence that this wildly popular social media platform is blatantly flouting binding U.S. privacy rules, the FTC should move swiftly to launch an investigation and forcefully hold violators accountable,” said the letter, which was signed by Democratic Senators Ed Markey, an author of COPPA, and Richard Blumenthal.
It was also signed by Republican Senators Josh Hawley, a critic of big social media and China, and Marsha Blackburn.
A TikTok spokeswoman said in an email that the company “takes the issue of safety seriously for all our users, and we continue to further strengthen our safeguards and introduce new measures to protect young people on the app.”