TikTok denies that it shares data with China and spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said the company looks forward to “set the record straight” at the hearing and explain how the company has designed a secure system to store U.S. users’ data in the United States.
Congress hasn’t passed legislation that would protect data privacy, and lawmakers’ efforts on TikTok to date have focused on banning the app from government-issued devices. At least 30 states and the federal government have done so. The fear is that China, with access to the data, would be able to manipulate Americans, and, in the case of government workers, to spy on them.
Lawmakers including Sens. Mark WarnerD-Va., and marco rubioR-Fla., the chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CBS News Sunday that TikTok would not be able to completely cut itself off from its Chinese parent.
The Biden administration has yet to sign off on a security proposal presented by TikTok to an interagency review panel.
The House committee has in recent years summoned top executives of Facebook parent Meta, Google’s parent Alphabet, and Twitter, among others to answer questions about the companies’ data practices, violations of privacy, and targeting of kids on their platforms. Although lawmakers in both chambers and across party lines have gotten CEOs to answer questions and submit to a grilling, Congress remains divided on how to address the dangers of online social media platforms.