TikTok denies sharing user data with China, citing concerns over data security in the United States.
According to Reuters, a TikTok executive testifying before a Senate committee on Tuesday said his company, whose owner is located in Beijing, has not exchanged user data with China and has taken efforts to avoid Americans from being exposed to this possible risk.
Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee subcommittee that held the hearing on Tuesday, pressed TikTok CEO Michael Beckerman on whether the business would refuse to share user data with Beijing if asked.
According to Reuters, Beckerman, the company’s head of public policy for the Americas, said, “We do not exchange information with the Chinese government.” “We have a world-renowned security staff situated in the United States that manages access.” TikTok and its Chinese counterpart, Douyin, are owned by ByteDance, which was created by Chinese billionaire Zhang Yiming. While the company is backed by a number of private equity firms, its independence from the Chinese government has been called into doubt when The Information claimed that a state-owned corporation bought a 1% share in the company and sits on one of its board of directors.
Beckerman refuted The Information’s allegation when Blackburn pressed him about a state-owned corporation holding a board position. He further stated that all data pertaining to American users is held in the United States, with backups kept in Singapore.
According to Reuters, Republican Senator John Thune took a different approach to inquiry, voicing concerns about TikTok’s algorithms. These algorithms are well-known for quickly understanding user preferences and making recommendations for other films.
Outside researchers have discovered that TikTok collects less user data than its industry peers, and Beckerman volunteered to share TikTok’s algorithm moderation standards with senators for examination.
Donald Trump attempted to force ByteDance to sell its majority ownership in TikTok through an executive order near the end of his presidency. Oracle and Walmart were rumored to be interested bidders, but ByteDance successfully opposed the sale in court.
The Biden administration requested a postponement in the government’s appeal of a federal judge’s decision in the case in February, according to The Wall Street Journal, as it looked into potential national security dangers identified by the Trump administration in connection with data security vulnerabilities. ByteDance has no objections to this ruling.
“We intend to build a comprehensive strategy for defending the United States.” This is a condensed version of the information.