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TikTok Inc. Chief Executive Officer Shou Zi Chew speaks at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. Parent company of Bloomberg News.Photographer: Brian van der Beek/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is set to testify before a House panel on March 23 about the app’s security and privacy practices and its ties to China through parent company ByteDance.
House Energy and Commerce Committee announced a public hearing On Monday, he said Chu would make his first appearance before a parliamentary panel.
“ByteDance-owned TikTok deliberately allowed the Chinese Communist Party to access US user data,” E&C Chairman Kathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.) said in a statement. “Americans deserve to know how these actions affect privacy and data security, and what actions TikTok is taking to protect children from online and offline harm. ”
In a statement, a TikTok spokesperson said, “We have taken the facts before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce about TikTok, ByteDance and the commitments we are making to address US national security concerns. We welcome the opportunity to clarify.”
However, a spokesperson said, “There is no truth in Rep. McMorris Rogers’ claims that TikTok provided US user data to the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party does not directly or indirectly control ByteDance or TikTok. Furthermore, the proposals we have devised through CFIUS together with our national security agencies make such data sharing, or other forms of foreign influence on the U.S. TikTok platform, impossible.”
A spokeswoman said she hoped that sharing details of that plan with the committee would “allow Congress to take a more deliberative approach to the issues at hand.”
The announcement comes amid protracted negotiations with the U.S. government over how to protect the company’s apps domestically. TikTok is working with the U.S. Foreign Investment Commission to help determine whether certain risk mitigation measures are sufficient to mitigate national security concerns.
Still, those negotiations have reportedly been delayed, at least as of last month, as officials continue to worry about the implications of ownership of the app by Chinese parent company ByteDance. This is because companies may be forced to turn over data to the Chinese government upon request. In the past, TikTok has assured US officials and lawmakers not to store US user data in China to mitigate its risks, but that has done little to assuage fears. .
Concerns about TikTok’s impact on national security and consumer privacy have spread across both sides of Congress, from the Trump administration to the Biden administration.
Lawmakers passed a year-end legislative package banning TikTok on government devices, citing security concerns. In a statement at the time, a TikTok spokesperson called the passage of the bill “a political gesture that does nothing to advance national security interests” and said the deal CFIUS was considering was “not We will meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised.” Both federal and state level. ”
Watch: Lawmakers go after TikTok, YouTube and Snap execs