Blackburn Discusses TikTok’s Policy Change, Data Privacy

December 4, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke with Bloomberg Technology to discuss her concerns regarding youth use of TikTok, as well as her questions at today’s Senate Commerce hearing on “Examining Legislative Proposals to Protect Consumer Data Privacy,”

On TikTok’s Decision to Raise the Minimum Age for In-App Purchases“

I am pleased that they have changed the age. That is an important first step. Having these children streaming these videos, buying these emojis that can be converted to cash by the recipients, it is just inappropriate.”

On the Chinese Commercial Sector

"Listen: you can’t tell where their commercial sector and their military sector begin and end. They are all one and the same. And China is determined to build a surveillance state that is not only on their people – and certainly we have seen this used on the Hong Kong protesters and also on the Uyghurs – we know what they would do to us. When you think about the profiles that they are building of these children and how they would use that ten or fifteen years down the road, it is of tremendous concern to us.”

On Commerce Hearing on Privacy

“Basic privacy legislation needs to include one set of rules for that entire internet ecosystem.”

To watch the segment, click below or here.


TikTok has announced it is raising the minimum age for in-app purchases from 13 to 18. This comes after Senator Blackburn told TikTok it must put an end to Chinese-linked efforts to collect data from American children in a letter to CEO Alex Zhu.

Earlier this year, Senator Blackburn introduced the BROWSER Act to require communications and technology companies to provide users with clear and conspicuous notice of their privacy policies and the ability to opt-in to the collection of sensitive information and to opt-out of the collection of non-sensitive information. It also prohibits these companies from denying their service to users who refuse to waive their privacy rights, empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce these rules, and ensures we have a consistent national law regarding online privacy.