The US government has banned the use of public telephones.
Courtesy | He answered questions from lawmakers that were tough
The director general of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, was questioned this Thursday in the Capitol seeking answers about the dangers that the popular social network poses for the national security of the United States of America.
The application, which has more than 150 million USU users, is facing increased scrutiny from Washington officials who fear user data could fall into the hands of the Chinese government and be used as a propaganda weapon.
The hearing began with some strong statements from House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who immediately expressed her support for banning the platform.
“We don’t trust TikTok to ever embrace American values,” said the congresswoman. “TikTok has often chosen the path of more control, surveillance, and more engineering. Their platform should be condemned,” he added.
Supporters of the US ban on the app say ByteDance, the China-based parent company of TikTok, has been forced to share user data with the Chinese Communist Party. So last week the White House demanded that ByteDance sell its stake in the app.
“This is 150 million Americans that the Chinese Communist Party can collect sensitive information and control what we ultimately see, hear and believe,” McMorris Rodgers said.
TikTok takes “real action”
Chew stated that the social media giant is taking “real action” to respond to US national security policymakers.
The Singaporean businessman told the board that TikTok is building “a firewall that protects US users’ data from foreign access,” including setting up a new corporate entity to handle user data in that country. .
“Currently, US TikTok data is stored by default on Oracle servers. Only authorized personnel from a new company, called TikTok US Data Security, can control access to that data,” he said.
In addition, he confirmed that the platform’s plans for this company depend on an independent American plan with “strong security forces”.
“The bottom line is this: US data stored on US soil, by a US company, controlled by US personnel,” he explained.
Chew confirmed that ByteDance has no ties to the Chinese government, testifying that the parent company has three Americans on its five-member board of directors and most of its stakes are held by institutional investors around the world.
The global battle against TikTok
Last month, the United States, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and Belgium banned the app from government devices, arguing that TikTok’s data collection methods provide “substantial access” to phone content.
He went further to Vienna. The US House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs voted earlier this month to advance legislation that would make it easier to ban TikTok across the US.
In addition, in February, the European Commission banned the use of the platform on the official devices of its employees in order to “protect the data of the Commission and increase its cyber security”.
After the White House ordered federal officials to remove TikTok from official mobile devices, China accused the US of abusing and abusing its power.
“The US government must respect the principles of economic trade and fair competition, control companies and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies” in its territory, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, Mao Ning.
Meanwhile, the company responded that “banning TikTok in the US prohibits the export of American culture and values to more than 1,000 million people” who use the social network.
“We are disappointed to see the progress of this reckless legislation, despite the significant negative impact on the free speech rights of the millions of Americans who use and love TikTok,” they said.
“TikTok leads to death”
Although national security was expected to be the main topic of the hearing, several lawmakers raised concerns about TikTok’s impact on American children and adolescents.
“Research has shown that TikTok’s algorithms recommend videos to adolescents that create and exacerbate feelings of emotional distress, including videos that promote suicide, loss and eating disorders,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Democrat
For his part, Gus Bilirakis from Florida State Representative stated that there is a lack of restraint on the platform, which leaves room for minors to expose content that promotes self-inflicted harm.
Their technology is literally leading to death, Bilirakis told TikTok CEO Shou Chew.
TikTok has rolled out a number of features in recent months to protect younger users, including a new 60-minute default value for the daily limit for those under 18.
However, that act was criticized by the legislators, who argued that it was easy to pass puberty.
Investigation of accusations
During the hearing, a member of the Republican House of Representatives, Neal Dunn, asked Shou Zi Chew if “ByteDance spied on Americans under the direction of the Chinese Communist Party”, to which the director of TikTok gave a negative answer. .
Then the politician cited a report published in October 2022, according to which “the parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, plans to use TikTok to monitor the location of US citizens in specific locations”.
“I don’t think that’s the right way to describe exploration,” Chew said then.
Have information immediately on the cell phone. Join the Primicia Diary group on WhatsApp via the following link: https://chat.whatsapp.com/G1A3T9ZMeGbLSwky655UNo
We are also on Telegram as @DiarioPrimicia, join here: https://t.me/diarioprimicia.