March 23rd 2023.
(Image Source: https://metro.co.uk)
On Thursday, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to testify on the potential threat posed by the app, with lawmakers raising privacy issues, national security concerns, and the impact it has had on children and teenagers in the US. Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington stated in her opening remarks, "Mr Chew, you are here because the American people need the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. TikTok has chosen a path of more control, more surveillance and more manipulation." Chew attempted to assure the committee and public that the Chinese tech company ByteDance is working to fix security flaws that have allowed foreign actors to access the data of US users, such as by launching Project Texas, a $1.5billion program in collaboration with Oracle that would relocate all US user data to facilities in the US. He also emphasized that American data is now stored on American soil by an American company, overseen by American personnel. While Chew admitted that some legacy data was still stored in facilities that could be accessed by ByteDance engineers, he downplayed TikTok's ties to China, denying any links to the country's government or Communist Party. Supporters of the app gathered at the Capitol building prior to the hearing.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was recently called to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as legislators consider a possible ban of the popular video sharing app. Representatives from both parties subjected the executive to rigorous questioning on privacy, national security, the company's relationship to China, and the potentially damaging effects of the app on American children and teenagers. Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, opened the hearing with an emphatic statement: "Mr. Chew, you are here because the American people need to know the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security. TikTok has repeatedly chosen a path that leads to more control, surveillance, and manipulation." In his response, Chew sought to assure the committee and public that the app, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, is in the process of correcting security flaws that enabled foreign entities to access the data of US users. He declared that the company is committed to establishing a "firewall" that would protect US data from unwanted foreign access. Chew also highlighted Project Texas, a $1.5billion endeavor with Oracle that seeks to move all US user data to facilities within the US. He repeated multiple times that "American data is stored on American soil by an American company overseen by American personnel." (Image Source: https://metro.co.uk)
As of October, all new data collected on American users has been stored in US servers; however, Chew conceded that some legacy data is still stored in facilities that may be accessed by ByteDance engineers.
Prior to the hearing, supporters of TikTok gathered at the Capitol Building in a show of solidarity. During the hearing, Chew sought to de-emphasize the app's ties to China, denying any connections to the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party.
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