Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, stated that “spying” is not the appropriate word to describe the alleged Chinese surveillance of Americans using his company’s social media platform during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday.
Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL) questioned Chew about whether ByteDance, the parent firm of TikTok, has spied on Americans.
“I don’t think spying is the appropriate word to use,” Chew stated.
Dunn inquired about a claim that the FBI and Justice Department are looking into ByteDance following the company’s admission that it had fired four workers for using the contentious software to track the whereabouts of two US journalists.
Last week, Lucas Nolan of Breitbart News reported:
“Congress’s opponents started to voice their concerns about TikTok’s surveillance techniques after ByteDance acknowledged that its workers had accessed U.S. customers’ data inappropriately. According to Forbes, ByteDance has already received subpoenas from the DOJ. The extent of the incident’s investigation is still unknown, though. Although it is not yet known if these interviews are a part of the same probe, the FBI has also interviewed people in relation to the topic.”
“We have strongly denounced the acts of the employees determined to have been engaged, and they are not employed at ByteDance any longer,” a ByteDance representative said in a statement in response to the situation. “The representative added that an internal investigation is still being conducted by the business and that ByteDance is committed to helping with any subsequent official inquiries that are requested.”
In Washington, DC worries about TikTok’s potential effects on national security and privacy have reached a fever pitch as politicians continue to debate whether the legislative branch should try to outright prohibit the widely used but divisive app or instead pass privacy laws. Some have argued that TikTok and ByteDance should be separated.
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) also criticized TikTok during the hearing for sponsoring harmful trends that have murdered American children and teenagers.
Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) urged senators to avoid using TikTok and dubbed it one of the “greatest geopolitical risks America has ever faced” as House lawmakers persisted in questioning the TikTok CEO.