Shou Zi Chew failed to allay the concerns of American politicians.
For years, the United States has viewed TikTok, which is indirectly controlled by the Chinese state, as a national security risk, which is why the Trump administration even tried to force the sale of the platform’s overseas business. Due to the constitutional concerns regarding the initiative, the politicians got their teeth into the matter at the time, but in recent months, the operator ByteDance has come under pressure again. The hardening was indicated by the law passed at the end of the previous year, which banned the use of TikTok on all government devices (and which has since been adopted by several countries), after which the congressional investigation committee “invited” the CEO of the platform for a hearing.
In yesterday’s public testimony, Shou Zi Chew had to respond to 5 Democratic and 5 Republican interviewers about concerns about the handling of American users’ data and the protection of minors. During the 5-hour hearing, the CEO repeatedly repeated the official position that TikTok does not serve the Chinese state and that it protects the data of its 150 million American audience.
At the same time, the committee expressed its doubts as to whether the measure announced last year is suitable for this, in the framework of which the data in question will be transferred to the servers of an American company, Oracle. The operation, which goes by the name “Project Texas”, did not convince the lawmakers as a whole, who also inquired about the scandal in December, which revealed that ByteDance monitored American journalists doing investigative work.
In this regard, Republican representative Neal Dunn asked Chew whether they really spied on American citizens, but the CEO only said that, in his opinion, espionage is not an adequate description of what happened. In addition to data security concerns, the CEO did not provide reassuring answers regarding the harmful effects on the mental health of minors. Chew said that they are taking the matter seriously, but this is a phenomenon affecting other social platforms as well, and according to him, the majority of TikTok users do not have such experiences anyway.
Based on subsequent expert comments, the social platform came out poorly from the hearing overall. THE Bloombergstating to Dan Ives, a security analyst at Wedbush Securities, for example, described the testimony as a “moment of disaster” that could spur the in-laws and even the White House itself to fight with renewed vigor for a local ban on TikTok. And now the external conditions are also given for this, a spy balloon incident in February American-Chinese relations have reached a low point not seen for a long time.
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Source: PC World Online Hírek by pcworld.hu.
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