TikTok CEO Show Ji Xiu will travel to Washington in March for a hearing by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce. The group wanted to know about the privacy of US users, the security of the data collected and whether the Communist Chinese government could do so.
MEPs also fear that minors may become victims of “harmful” images or sexual abuse. The video app has over 100 million young users in the US.
“We have raised our concerns with TikTok,” said Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee. “It is time to bring TikTok before the committee and get full and proper answers.” TikTok says it welcomes the call.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to vote next month to ban the use of TikTok in the United States because of national security risks. “Our concern is that this app will give the Chinese government backdoor access to our phones,” chairman Michael McCall said.
TikTok is a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant ByteDance. In December Byte Dance employees, including two journalists from Forbes, are known to have viewed data on US users via TikTok. The business magazine published several articles on whether TikTok is sharing sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
ByteDance employees obtained the data while investigating possible leaks from ByteDance to the press. However, the leak was not detected.
At the time, Peter Wolters, an associate professor of civil law at Radboud University, said the Chinese government could use the data to spread propaganda or threaten politicians.
Young people are tired of TikTok sharing data with China, but I can’t do without it
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