US lawmaker wants to limit TikTok data flow as company considers minimizing China ties

TikTok has more teen users than Facebook, Hawley said

A U.S. senator is introducing legislation to combat the flow of Americans' data to countries like China in response to the popularity of Chinese-owned app TikTok.

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More teenagers are on TikTok than on Facebook, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told Fox News on Monday.

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"Here's the problem: it's owned by a Chinese company, and under Chinese law, that means the Communist Party has access to all of the data that TikTok scoops up," Hawley said. "And it scoops up a lot, like your phone book, like what you do on your phone, it tracks you around the web, maybe your text messages. It's dangerous."

Meanwhile, TikTok is trying to minimize its ties to China as it looks to expand or even rebrand, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

A man opens the TikTok app.

"The Chinese government has never asked us to provide access to any TikTok U.S. user data, and we would not do so if asked," a ByteDance spokesman told the Journal. ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok.

Hawley's bill is called the "National Security and Personal Data Protection Act."

Another mobile phone app that worries him is FaceApp, which allows users to virtually transform their faces in real time.

"It's owned by a Russian company. My bill would cover China, Russia, any other country the State Department deems a security risk," he said.

Hawley's not the only senator with his eye on TikTok.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Tom Cotton want the U.S. intelligence community to look into the "national security risks" posed by the popular app.

"With over 110 million downloads in the U.S. alone, TikTok is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore," Schumer, D-N.Y., and Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a letter in October. "Given these concerns, we ask that the Intelligence Community conduct an assessment of the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. and brief Congress on these findings."

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FOX Business' inquiry to TikTok was not returned at the time of publication.