TikTok has concluded its meeting with a Republican US lawmaker, but they were not persuaded
- Tech News
- February 3, 2023
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The presentation from TikTok provides a thorough look at the efforts made by the app to prove data security for US users.
WASHINGTON: The Chinese-owned short video app TikTok met with US Republican Representative Mike Gallagher on Wednesday to discuss US data security plans, but the lawmaker still intends to seek to have TikTok banned in the country, a spokesperson for the lawmaker said.
Gallagher, a Republican and the head of a House of Representatives subcommittee on China, met with Michael Beckerman, the company’s head of public policy for the Americas, and other TikTok representatives.
According to Gallagher spokesperson Jordan Dunn, the legislator “valued their time but found their case unpersuasive.”
In the upcoming weeks, Gallagher “still plans to introduce his legislation with Rep. (Raja) Krishnamoorthi,” Dunn said.
TikTok, according to Beckerman, “looks forward to learning more about Rep. Gallagher’s specific concerns that are not addressed by this comprehensive strategy,” in a statement to Reuters.
As it was challenging to conduct a thorough deep dive on a national security proposal that has been in the works for two years during a single brief meeting, TikTok hopes to give Gallagher another briefing, he added.
The presentation “Protecting US National Security Interests” by the company, which Reuters has viewed, provides a detailed look at the app’s efforts to show how secure the app’s more than 100 million US users’ data is.
Due to concerns that user data might be given to the Chinese government, the US government’s powerful national security committee, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), ordered the Chinese company ByteDance to sell its TikTok shares in 2020.
For more than two years, CFIUS and it have been in discussions with the goal of coming to a national security agreement.
First revealed by Reuters in December, it has taken a number of steps to allay US government concerns, including a deal with Oracle Corp. to store user data and the creation of a United States Data Security division to monitor data security and content moderation decisions.
According to Reuters, the company has invested $1.5 billion in hiring and organisational costs to expand the TikTok US Data Security (USDS) division.
According to the presentation, company employees working in the unit will undergo background checks, the business will be run by an independent board, and its content systems will be under the supervision of CFIUS-approved outside parties.
For the past three years, TikTok has worked to reassure Washington that neither the Chinese Communist Party nor anyone else under Beijing’s control can access US citizens’ personal information or alter its content.
The company CEO, Shou Zi Chew, will testify before the US Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23, the company announced on Monday.
A bill to forbid the use of TikTok in the US will be put to a vote by the House Foreign Affairs Committee this month.
The CFIUS TikTok talks and whether the White House would support a TikTok ban were topics that were not addressed by the White House on Friday.
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