Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley ripped TikTok for working with China to overly monitor their users, naming specific examples of how he believes they have gone too far, also saying they should not be able to operate as they currently do.
Hawley told the Daily Caller that “TikTok is monitoring users’ keystrokes, following their search histories, and tracking them around the web like the rest of Big Tech, but not for profit. They’re doing it to serve their bosses in Beijing.” He also added that there is no reason for them to need to collect so much information on Americans who use the app.
“Beijing wants a foothold on every smartphone of every single American citizen to gather intelligence, shape our society and eventually exploit any vulnerabilities it uncovers. There’s no good reason to allow this to continue,” Hawley continued.
Hawley has continued to be skeptical of TikTok, pointing out earlier in May that TikTok previously said it could not testify before Congress because its employees were based in China. (RELATED: ‘We Are Too Reliant On China’: Cotton, Hawley Call On US To Regain Independence From Communist Regime)
The Missouri senator warned in a March press statement that TikTok’s parent company “includes Chinese Communist Party members in leadership,” and stated that “TikTok has admitted that it has sent user data to China.” (RELATED: TikTok Spokesman Claims Beijing-Based Company Is Not Chinese-Owned)
TikTok announced in March that it would stop using China-based moderators to monitor overseas content, The Wall Street Journal reported in March. A spokesman for TikTok also claimed the Beijing-based company is not Chinese-owned.