TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has been on a lobbying blitz in Capitol Hill. She met with lawmakers ahead a high-stakes hearing next Wednesday, where many are expected push for a ban of the social media platform.
Next Thursday, Chew is scheduled to testify before Congress’ House Energy and Commerce Committee. There, he will speak about the privacy and security practices for the social media app. According to a statement, Chew has been reaching out for members to meet with him and has also met with all of them except for Rep. Frank Pallone. (D-NJ), which is the top Democrat on that committee. Punchbowl News.
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Chew wants to assure lawmakers that U.S. users’ data are safe on the platform, and that the company’s not under the control Chinese Communist Party. Forbes.
Officials in the United States continue to be concerned about the app’s connections to China. They fear that TikTok might use user data to weaponize its collection. Last week, Christopher Wray, FBI Director, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee that the app could be used for spreading misinformation.
“This is a tool that is ultimately within the control of the Chinese government, and it, to me, it screams out with national security concerns,” Wray spoke.
“Americans deserve to know the extent to which their privacy is jeopardized and their data is manipulated by ByeDance-owned TikTok’s relationship with China,” The committee made the statement in a statement on Thursday.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers, a Republican from Washington, asked Chew to answer questions next week regarding the Chinese-owned app’s initiatives to protect children. “need to know what actions the company is taking to keep our kids safe from online and offline harms.”
McMorris Rodgers, along with other Republicans, wrote to TikTok in December saying: “Many children are exposed to non-stop offerings of inappropriate content that TikTok’s algorithm force-feeds to them.” This group also expressed concern that TikTok’s popular social media app livestreamed events, which allowed adult TikTok users offer money to support their cause. “persuade children to perform sexually suggestive acts.”
Biden’s administration threatened to ban TikTok in the United States if its Chinese owners did not sell their stakes. The White House had earlier in the year ordered all federal agencies to take TikTok off government-issued devices because of national security concerns.
TikTok stated earlier this month that it was developing a tool for parents that will prevent children from seeing content that contains specific words or hashtags. The platform’s short-form video app has also announced new features that will limit how long users spend on it. For users under 18, the app will have an automatic time limit of one hour per day. Users will also need to enter a password in order to continue to use it.
For the last two decades, the company has been working with the Committee on Foreign Investment, an American group that includes the Treasury, Justice, Defense, Commerce, Homeland Security, Commerce, and Commerce to negotiate a deal regarding data security requirements. U.S. officials are still concerned that the Chinese government might pressure the company or ByteDance its parent company to hand over personal data of U.S. citizens in order to benefit Chinese intelligence efforts. TikTok claimed it has spent more $1.5 billion in data security efforts, and denies any spying allegations. While the talks are still ongoing, there hasn’t been a resolution.
It seems that a growing number of legislators are tired of waiting for the White House’s action on TikTok. Sen. Mark Warner (D.VA), chairman of the Intelligence Committee, introduced. Sen. John Thune was (R-SD), introduced a bipartisan bill The bill was passed last week and would give the Biden administration additional powers to regulate video-sharing platforms as well as other foreign-owned apps. The bill was The White House endorsesIt was called by the. “a systematic framework for addressing technology-based threats to the safety and security of Americans.”
The Senate legislation is being introduced after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a TikTok-focused Bill a few weeks ago. This bill would have allowed President Joe Biden, to ban it. The bill names TikTok’s parent company ByteDance. Biden can impose penalties on these companies if they are found guilty of knowingly transferring U.S. user information to the government. “any foreign person” Working under or for the Chinese government.
Mid-February: Sens. Sens. Legislation was introduced If TikTok is owned by hostile foreign regimes, it will be banned.
“There are two national security reasons. One is that China actually has a law that any private company that’s requested by the Chinese Communist government to give up their data has to do so,” King made the remarks during Friday’s appearance on MSNBC. “So, in effect, it makes any private company an agent of the Chinese Communist Party, and TikTok has enormous amounts of data: What you’re doing with your phone, what you’re looking at, what you’re emphasizing, where you are. So, that’s a problem.”
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Rubio and Sen. Joni (R.IA) also introduced legislation Friday to deny federal funds any person or entity who has an agreement with TikTok, partnership or advertisement.
“Make no mistake — TikTok is an insidious platform weaponized by the Chinese Communist Party to snoop on Americans and negatively influence our children. This bill rightfully ensures that American taxpayers aren’t forced to foot the bill for ads that bolster the CCP’s toxic platform. I’ll always fight to protect taxpayer dollars and our national security,” Ernst stated this in a statement.
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