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TikTok CEO To Appear Before US Congress to Testify About User Privacy and Safety

Avatar Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >
TikTok CEO

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will appear before a House panel on March 23 about the app’s security and privacy practices and its ties to China through parent company ByteDance. The House Energy and Commerce Committee announced the hearing on Monday, saying it would be Chew’s first appearance before a congressional panel.

 E&C Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said in a statement that:

“ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data. Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security, as well as what actions TikTok is taking to keep our kids safe from online and offline harms.” 

A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement: 

“We welcome the opportunity to set the record straight about TikTok, ByteDance, and the commitments we are making to address concerns about U.S. national security before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.”

But, the spokesperson added, “There is no truth to Rep. McMorris Rodgers’ claim that TikTok has made U.S. user data available to the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party has neither direct nor indirect control of ByteDance or TikTok. Moreover, under the proposal we have devised with our country’s top national security agencies through CFIUS, that kind of data sharing—or any other form of foreign influence over the TikTok platform in the United States—would not be possible.”

The news comes after the app was banned on government devices and school campuses in a number of states in recent months, as well as on federal devices after a ban was passed in Congress in December. Next month the House foreign affairs committee plans to hold a vote on a bill aimed at blocking the use of TikTok entirely in the US.

TikTok CEO has denied these claims, stating: “The Chinese Communist party has neither direct nor indirect control of ByteDance or TikTok,” according to a company spokesman. It was confirmed on Monday that Chew will testify.

TikTok has been stuck in negotiations for years with the Committee on Foreign Investment to keep its app running in the US. But last December, the WSJ reported talks between the app and government officials had stalled, and a deal may be delayed.

The app has come under increasing scrutiny after reports emerged of a possible security breach. Last month, US President Joe Biden signed into law banning TikTok on official government devices, and more than half of US states have taken similar action.

Some lawmakers also support legislation to ban the app completely from the country, but Congress has yet to reach an agreement on any ban that would affect consumers.

Naturally, TikTok denied the ban in a statement, arguing it was a political gesture that would do nothing to advance national security interests.

Chew, who took over as CEO of TikTok in April 2021, often hides behind the scenes when his app is in the spotlight.

That review has been ongoing as the CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for more than two years aiming to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of US TikTok users. The White House on Friday declined to comment on whether it would support a legislative ban on TikTok or the status of the talks.

Lawmakers passed a ban on TikTok on government devices in a year-end legislative package, citing security fears. A TikTok spokesperson called the passage of the bill “a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests,” in a statement at the time, adding that the agreement CFIUS was reviewing would “meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at both the federal and state level.”

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile