TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew, appeared before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security on Wednesday to testify about the company’s data security and privacy practices.
The hearing was called in the wake of concerns about the app’s data collection and handling practices, as well as its ties to the Chinese government. TikTok has been under scrutiny in recent years over its handling of user data and allegations that it shares information with the Chinese government.
During the hearing, Chew defended TikTok’s practices, stating that the company takes user privacy and data security seriously. He also addressed concerns about the app’s use of facial recognition technology, stating that it is not used for political purposes or shared with third parties.
“We have implemented a range of measures to protect user data, including encryption and data access controls,” Chew said. “We have also established a global security team that is focused on identifying and addressing potential threats to our platform.”
Chew also addressed concerns about the company’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.
The hearing comes amid increasing scrutiny of tech companies’ data practices, with lawmakers in the US and around the world looking to tighten regulations on the collection and handling of user data. TikTok is one of several social media platforms that have faced criticism over their data practices, including Facebook and Google.
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. However, it remains to be seen whether the company’s efforts will be enough to satisfy lawmakers’ concerns about its data practices.