A TikTok executive who appeared before a Senate panel on Tuesday told lawmakers that his company, whose owner is based in Beijing, did not share user data with China and wanted to prevent Americans from being subjected to this potential risk. Steps have been taken, Reuters reported.
GOP Senator Marsha Blackburn, who sits on a subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday’s hearing, questioned TikTok’s Michael Beckerman whether the company might oppose sharing user data with Beijing if it was demanded.
According to Reuters, the company’s head of public policy for the US, Beckerman, replied, “We do not share information with the Chinese government.” “We have a world-renowned US-based security team handling the access.”
ByteDance, which was founded by Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming, owns TikTok as well as its Chinese counterpart Douyin. While several private-equity firms are associated with the company, its independence from the Chinese government is in question, as information reported that a state-owned company bought a 1 percent stake in the company and holds one of its board seats. .
When Blackburn pressured Beckerman about a government company holding a board seat, he denied the Information Report. He also said that all US user data is stored in the United States, with backups of that data kept in Singapore.
According to Reuters, Republican Senator John Thune took a different approach in his inquiry, expressing concerns about TikTok’s algorithms. Those algorithms are known to rapidly learn user preferences and recommend other videos.
Beckerman responded that outside researchers have found that the app collects less user data than its industry peers, and offered to provide TikTok’s algorithmic moderation policies for senators to review.
Towards the end of his presidency, Donald Trump tried to force ByteDance to sell its majority stake in TikTok through an executive order. Oracle and Walmart were both seen as potential buyers, but the sale was successfully challenged in court by ByteDance.
In February, the Biden administration asked to delay the government’s appeal of a federal judge’s decision in the case, saying, wall street journal Reportedly, as it looked to review potential national security threats cited by the Trump administration in relation to data security issues. That decision was unopposed by ByteDance.
“We plan to develop a comprehensive approach to securing US data that addresses the full range of threats we face,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horn. magazine. “This includes risks posed by Chinese apps and other software operating in the US.”
“In the coming months, we look forward to reviewing specific cases in the light of a broader understanding of the risks we face,” Horn said.