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Here’s what TikTok’s CEO said in his U.S. Congressional Committee Hearing

TikTok’s CEO appears before the US Congress to defend the app against allegations of spying amidst calls for a ban across the country.

“We (TikTok) collect a limited amount of information when people set up an account, such as date of birth and username. Current versions of the app do not collect precise or approximate GPS information from U.S. users,” said TikTok’s Chief Executive Officer Shou Chew at a hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The hearing, titled “TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms”, ran for five hours in which Chew was grilled about TikTok’s efforts to address concerns around user safety, data privacy, Chinese interference, and transparency. Chew added that the platform does collect phone numbers or email addresses but stops short of asking users their real names during registration, their employment and relationship status. He elaborated that users have access to privacy settings such as choosing whether their account is private or public, among other things. The lawmakers on the committee argued that the app poses a threat to US’ national security because it collects nearly every data point from “people’s location, to what they type and copy, who they talk to, biometric data, and more”. They alleged that the Communist Party of China (CPC) is able to use this data as a tool to “manipulate America as a whole” especially when nearly half of the country’s population is on the platform. It was also said that China has a “backdoor” to access user data across the platform. The committee minced no words when alleging that CPC’s laws require Chinese…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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