The Morning After: TikTok's CEO will testify before a congressional committee

He will discuss privacy, TikTok's impact on kids and the app's links to China.

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The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23rd. Chew will discuss the app's privacy and data security measures, its impact on kids and ties to China (where parent company ByteDance is headquartered). This is Chew's first appearance in front of a congressional panel. TikTok's security and relationship with Chinese authorities have drawn the attention of US officials over the last few years. However, as CNBC reported, discussions between the US and TikTok appear to have stalled.

The relationship has been a precarious one for several years. The company has tried to assuage concerns by storing US user data on domestic Oracle servers and deleting such data from its own servers in the US and Singapore. However, other stories, like TikTok having to fire four employees (two each in China and the US) who accessed the data of several journalists, aren’t helping. They were said to be looking for the sources of leaks to reporters.

Also in December, a mammoth spending bill passed by lawmakers included a ban of TikTok from federal government-owned devices. However, the relationship has thawed since its nadir during the Trump administration, when the president pushed for the social network to shed its US assets. That, of course, never happened.

– Mat Smith

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