TikTok is under intensifying pressure from Congress after Buzzfeed released leaked audio from nine different TikTok employees saying that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company based in China, had access to TikTok user data in the U.S. In a...
TikTok is under intensifying pressure from Congress after Buzzfeed released leaked audio from nine different TikTok employees saying that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company based in China, had access to TikTok user data in the U.S. In a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Kahn, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner and Vice Chair Marco Rubio called for a comprehensive investigation of TikTok’s practices, since the Buzzfeed revelation contravenes sworn statements from TikTok’s policy lead, Michael Beckerman, back in October, that the company doesn’t share user information with ByteDance. The Chinese government holds a stake in ByteDance, and TikTok’s statements regarding whether it considers itself a ByteDance subsidiary have been vague, according to several lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The parents of two little girls, ages 8 & 9, are suing TikTok in Los Angeles because their kids died participating in a ‘Blackout Challenge’ that went viral on the platform, which called on participants to choke themselves until they pass out. The suit claims that TikTok knew or should have known the platform was “addictive” and warned parents the challenge was happening.
The Washington Post reported that Google will delete location data showing users’ visits to abortion clinics. The move comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, and concerns that law enforcement officials, including citizens deputized by anti-abortion states to rat out women seeking abortions, will form a stampede to obtain pregnant women’s browser and location data. The Post also reports that misinformation remains a concern as shady company’s promoting alternative ways to seek abortions have begun to proliferate on the internet.
Apple is rolling out a new iPhone feature called “Lockdown Mode” that’s designed to block government access to your phone via spyware data. The announcement comes after the recent discovery that Israeli law enforcement officials used the so-called Pegasus spyware to obtain contact information and even live audio.
That’s it for this week. You can find links to all of these stories in the show notes.
Stay safe, stay informed, have a great weekend.