Shou Zi Chew, the CEO of TikTok, recently testified before the US Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. His testimony addressed a range of concerns about TikTok’s data security and privacy practices, as well as the company’s ties to the Chinese government.
Here are some of the key takeaways from Chew’s testimony:
TikTok takes user privacy and data security seriously: Chew emphasized that TikTok has implemented a range of measures to protect user data, including encryption and data access controls. He also pointed to the company’s global security team, which is focused on identifying and addressing potential threats to the platform.
Facial recognition technology is not used for political purposes: Chew addressed concerns about TikTok’s use of facial recognition technology, stating that it is not used for political purposes or shared with third parties. He emphasized that the technology is used to personalize user experiences, such as suggesting filters and effects based on users’ facial features.
User data is stored in the US and Singapore: Chew addressed concerns about TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government, stating that TikTok operates independently of any government and that user data is stored in the US and Singapore. He also emphasized that the company is committed to transparency and accountability, and that it welcomes scrutiny and oversight from regulators.
TikTok is not a national security threat: Chew pushed back against allegations that TikTok poses a national security threat, stating that the company has no access to user data in China and that user data is not subject to Chinese law. He also emphasized that TikTok is an American company that is committed to upholding US laws and regulations.
TikTok is committed to diversity and inclusion: Chew highlighted TikTok’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on the platform, including the launch of a $1 billion fund to support creators from underrepresented groups. He also noted that TikTok has taken steps to address concerns about the spread of hate speech and misinformation on the platform.
Overall, Chew’s testimony was seen as an effort to assure lawmakers that TikTok takes user privacy and data security seriously, and that the company is committed to transparency and accountability. While some concerns remain about TikTok’s ties to the Chinese government and the use of user data, Chew’s testimony was seen as a positive step in addressing these concerns and promoting trust in the platform.