Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is calling for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to release its privacy report on social media and streaming services.
Cruz, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the FTC to demand the report’s release after more than 22 months.
“I write urging the expeditious release of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) 6(b) privacy report on social media and video streaming services, no later than November 14, 2022,” Cruz wrote in the letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan.
“The FTC’s social media investigation has now taken over 22 months, which should be more than enough time for the FTC to complete its work and publish a report on its findings,” he added.
The letter comes as the FTC is expected to soon announce new privacy rules for online businesses, with the comment period for the new regulations ending on November 21, according to Cruz’s statement.
“The social media and video streaming investigation was initiated in December 2020,” Cruz added in the letter. The FTC investigation sought information from tech companies like Amazon, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube on how they collect and track personal information, how ads are determined, whether the companies apply algorithms or data analytics to privacy information, how user engagement is measured, and how practices impact children and teenagers.
“Moreover, Congress and state legislatures have considered numerous bipartisan bills related to each of the five 6(b) orders. Certainly, the elected representatives of the people — and more importantly, the American people — would benefit from the findings of this investigation to craft sound public policy,” Cruz argued.
The letter comes as TikTok has become the subject of allegations regarding child sex abuse material on the social media platform, according to a Forbes investigative report.
The Forbes report claimed that explicit material can be found in “post-in-private” accounts and is easily accessible using specific phrases to avoid algorithms that would lead to a violation, as the Daily Wire previously reported.
Two GOP leaders, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), are introducing legislation to ban TikTok in the U.S., arguing that the social media platform is used by the Chinese Communist Party and poses a national security risk to America.
“Anything short of a complete separation” of TikTok from Chinese owner ByteDance “will likely leave significant national security issues regarding operations, data and algorithms unresolved,” Rubio said in a statement.
“Congress needs to act against the TikTok threat before it’s too late,” the lawmakers concluded.
The effort follows a New York Times report from September that found the Biden administration struck a preliminary deal with TikTok to fix national security issues. The agreement would force TikTok to change its personnel and data storage to address the security concerns, according to the Times.