Watch & Comment Live: TikTok CEO Testified Before Congress
Do you support a ban on TikTok?
Updated March 23, 2023, 4:00pm EST
- After five hours of questioning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing ended. Lawmakers from both parties are demanding Chew take accountability for TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government and its harmful effects on children and teenagers.
- Committee members reportedly grilled Chew on security and privacy risks. U.S. officials have not shared evidence of a current threat of the app's parent company, ByteDance, providing the Chinese government with users’ data, such as approximate location and browsing history. Intelligence officials have been focusing on the potential risk, given Beijing’s control of the economy and individual companies.
- Chew said the company would store U.S. users’ data out of reach of the Chinese government and that the app’s tools were meant to limit teenagers’ time on the app, such as a 60-minute limit for users under 18 years old, but committee members were unconvinced.
- Lawmakers pointed to the previous tech executives who have testified before congressional committees and how few changes were made in the industry following the hearings. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA) said:
“When we spoke a couple of weeks ago, you indicated interest in taking steps to earn our trust. And, to me, it hasn’t happened today so far.”
- China said it would oppose efforts by the U.S. to force the selling of TikTok, along with Biden’s stance against the nation’s ownership of the app. This limits Biden’s options as Congress moves forward with three bills targeting TikTok.
What's the story?
- On March 23, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is due to appear before Congress to testify on the app's consumer privacy and data security practices, along with its impact on children and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
- GOP committee aids are expecting the CEO to focus on "Project Texas," a plan designed by TikTok to address security concerns by rerouting U.S. user traffic through Oracle's domestic cloud servers.
- Various Senators and the Biden administration are backing the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology (RESTRICT) Act, which would allow the administration to ban Chinese-owned TikTok and any foreign-based technologies that pose a risk to national security. Chew is expected to argue against banning the app because of its popularity.
- Dozens of creators and influencers with large TikTok followings will gather on Capitol Hill to support Chew and convey how central the app is to their livelihoods. TikTok spokesperson Jamal Brown said:
"Lawmakers in Washington debating TikTok should hear firsthand from people whose lives would be directly affected by their decisions."
Check back tomorrow to watch the full committee hearing here: "TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms"
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I support data privacy wherever possible. If TikTok will not prove it is protecting Americans' data, then Congress should take action to protect our data however possible.
I'm not a TikTok user, so this won't affect me. However, I also think Congress should be doing more to regulate all social media, even though most Congress members are too old and tech illiterate to do this competently.
We'll see what happens.
"Do you support a ban on TikTok? I wish there was a 'maybe' option for an answer. So far I have seen alot of smoke and fury about TikTok but have not seen/heard/read evidence that the concerns are warranted. If they are, then the answer is yes. If the concerns are warranted, I see the users of TikTok similar to businesses that aggressively sought to do business in China but then acted surprised when their technology was stolen. They really really want to use TikTok....until they find their identity hacked.
Since I don't use "TIK Tok", I could care less. I am not computer literate but I'm not blind to the problems created by social media. I keep a close eye on my internet "protection" so don't open any e-mails using that particular business. I don't purchase anything on line since I don't trust hackers. If I can't pay by check or call direct to any business I wish to use, I figure I don't need whatever it is. I prefer to shop "IN PERSON" for what I need, if for no other reason but the socialization of the trip. I prefer to actually talk to the store worker face to face for to better get a sense of honesty in what I'm asking about.
When a person lives off a fixed income as low as mine, one has to be diligent in how to best utilize what little money you have. If it wasn't for subsidized housing, EBT (food stamps), energy assistance, and Medicaid, I'd be "screwed, tatooed, and tacked on the wall" for not being able to live a half decent and peaceful life. I would be living on the streets for sure. Not really since I'm a survivor and could live off the land if required to do so. Be aware of the fact that I will come out fighting to the death if I must if anyone tries to "rain on my parade".
Tik Tok Congressional testimony needs to identify how national security risks will be eliminated as currently there are several risk that set Tik Tok apart from other social media platforms.
1) keystrokes are recorded and can collect passwords and sites providing access to devices, and all sites you login to
2) biometrics like face, voice, finger prints that provide authentication login
3) DMs with codes sent by sites to authenticate login
Once access is gained emails can be sent from your account to these sites with Trojan horses which is how not only your online identity is hacked but servers at all the sites you access which can be your employer, government (DMV, Voter Registration, Social Security, etc), Commercial (banks, investments, shopping, etc)
4) Office is located in Beijing with Chinese Nationals. Under Chinese law a Chinese company and Chinese nationals are required to do anything the government asks them to do
5) China also owns part of the holding company
This is a slippery slope. One of the things which differentiates us from China are our freedoms. China takes away freedoms by banning most American social media. Do we really want to mirror China on this? It feels kind of hypocritical.
I don' believe our "President" or some of the americans take seriously what China is doing now or just have not taken their heads out of the sand. China and Russia now have a new pact together, Russia has spy balloons going over our important installations recording everything we are doing and now every day there are illegal chinese immigrants coming across the border. If anyone really believes this is just a coincidence then I have a bridge I would like to sell you.You need to open your eyes to what is going on around us before we are all becoming part of Russia and Chinas new world order they were taling about. Biden and his group are doing nothing to stop what is going on but they are doing plenty to help it go forward! We have a President in office who is not only incompetent but who is also in Chinas back pocket. What are you going to do about it?
A Very Long List of False Equivalence!
A normally respected commenter likes to provide long lists. In the case of TikTok, the latest list is a partial one-sided "analysis" that is Trumpian Level Willful Ignorance at Work.
The posts about TikTok really seem like toxic fearmongering and do not reflect even an iota of a true attempt to understand the TikTok issue.
There is no proof TikTok installs spyware or malware. In fact, that assertion has only been implied.
The personal info made available in TikTok is no more and in many cases far less than platforms like Facebook, Google, etc, take from users especially if you limit the info you give it as a matter of general safe computing.
Therefore, we are left to conclude this is a propaganda campaign, nothing more.
There is a very strong case that Meta the owner of Facebook is behind this, hoping to buy TikTok out.
I do believe that we need to regulate All Social Media Platforms with respect to privacy concerns, I do not think we need to support baseless fearmongering against China by condemning the TikTok App or ByteDance.
If you want to protest against China, fine. You might want to look around. Consider all the goods you already have starting with your apparel and your household items, and maybe even the device you are reading this on.
Isn't better to denounce an authoritarian regime for its problems than tear down an App that knows you may use to see video glimpses of both American and International culture, mathematics, science, and politics simply because China has a 20% ownership? Again, look around, carefully.
Instead of trying to ban TikTok perhaps we should implement privacy protections similar to the European Union's GDPR.
...China can force software and technology companies to spy on their users for the benefit of the government, and the companies are obligated to keep their espionage activities secret.
ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns TikTok. The Biden administration has demanded that ByteDance divest itself of TikTok, a demand that ByteDance has rejected. Instead, ByteDance offered to set up a “firewall” between ByteDance and TikTok user data for US citizens. (See Vox article above.) But, if the Chinese government ordered ByteDance to circumvent that firewall, Chinese citizens would be obligated to comply and keep those efforts secret under the National Intelligence Law.
The threat is not hypothetical. ByteDance admitted that its employees used TikTok to track the locations of four US journalists who had written negative stories about TikTok. In the hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee today, TikTok’s CEO said that he would not describe tracking the locations of journalists as “spying.” Of course, the CEO had to say that if the spying was conducted at the direction of the Chinese government! To say otherwise would violate the 2017 National Intelligence Law and risk a prison term. See TechCrunch, TikTok CEO says it wasn't 'spying' when ByteDance employees surveilled journalists.
TikTok is bigger than Google. It is banned in China but wildly popular in the US. TikTok’s employees are obliged to assist the Chinese government in spying on US citizens (if requested) and must keep that assistance secret. What could possibly go wrong?
It is stunning how easily this country can be subverted for the sake of entertainment and convenience.
There is not a single piece of data that TikTok is collecting that every other social media app is not also collecting. The only reason that our government is making an effort to ban this one is because it happens to be based out of China. Whether you like that or not, the fact remains that US based social media companies are the only ones who can actually leverage that data against you, since US law enforcement can access their records at any time. Unless you're a government official, there isn't anything TikTok can do with your data that every other company isn't already doing, and it's frankly debateable if they could even make use of it then.
I don't trust anything Chinese and the Volvo we got made over there has had more problems than any other one we have had.
Between Tik Tok, fentanyl, spy balloons, Covid etc., we do not appreciate China's attacks.
Facebook has always been giving our information out. We can talk about something on a live, in comments, or even without our phone open to Facebook and next thing you know we have ads for what we have talked about. Facebook or sir someone is listening. TikTok has been a way for people to meet new friends that they never would've met. There's no difference in any social media. Snap chat is constantly passing drugs through there app. Sex trafficking is a constant on Snapchat. I think you need to listen to the people and stop trying to control the people.
protect our national,and personal privacy, as well as our children.
Banning TikTok is a ploy to have Meta be the main social media platform as it's funded by American corporations interest. Facebook along with IG has been dividing Americans for the last 10 years and turning small problems into major ones. This is not about the Chinese government spying on us as we do business with them on the regular. It's about money.
Better to block all social media apps and platforms from collecting or selling any user information. Forbid any Social Media use by people under 16 years of age, big fines for violators.
Reduce China's influence. Interesting as to what Hunter & Joe will do
We need comprehensive privacy laws in this country. Instead of that, it appears our representatives are seeking ban an app that happens to be one that has been used effectively for political protest, and to set the stage to, relatively easily, ban ANYTHING that can be used for political protest...
Find a way to actually look at TikTok before you ban. Get a "burner" smartphone or tablet, go to a library or Starbucks to connect to the internet, and look at some videos by "professorcasey".
She's a tech ethics professor.
I absolutely support this. I watched some of the hearings and he couldn't back up what he said they were doing to make it safe from theft or anything else. China's kids don't watch or are not seeing what American kids are seeing and hearing on these sights. I think all social media should be clamped down on when it comes to kids. I am never for taking away freedom of speech or the right to run a business. And the government should stay out of peoples lives. But when it's too big to fight against, when it harms children under 18 and when most people agree, then the government should help to do something not to mention what may be confidential. I was glad to see democrats and republicans come together today.
I am not a follower of most mass media. But as I was listening to a lady wanting Tik Tok banned. I thought you must be a parent. Don't you use parental controls. She was stating Tik Tok misuses children. Well parents need to control digital devises. Why would you want a company banned, that millions love. Most digital devises have parental controls. You as a parent should be in charge what your child watches or subscribes to. If Tik Tok is a national security security social media suspect, the government will investigate that. But parents need to take charge of their childrens digital access, not the millions of followers.
Ban it now like President Trump wanted too.
Get TIKTok out of here. Those progressives who are whining about their businesses & racism need to switch over to a non-enemy infiltrated platform.