Imagine that you woke up one morning and discovered that Communist China had distributed 150 million sensors across the United States. As it turns out, such a surveillance network already exists: it’s called TikTok.
Today, House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee made TikTok CEO Shou Chew answer for the company’s reckless privacy and data security practices.
TIKTOK FAST FACTS:
TikTok is now one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It is available in over 150 countries and serves over 1 billion users.
In the United States, TikTok has been downloaded over 210 million times and is especially popular among teenagers and young adults.
On average, American viewers spend 80 minutes per day watching TikToks.
TikTok’s popularity is due to its aggressive recommendation algorithm that, unlike other western social media platforms, recommends content based on a user’s previous engagement and personalized data the platform has already collected.
Within minutes of creating an account, TikToks algorithm can promote suicide, self-harm, and eating disorders to children.
Despite numerous claims by TikTok executives that it does not share U.S. user data with the CCP, from 2014 to 2017 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) passed several laws requiring all Chinese tech companies to allow CCP officials access to user data.
The ambitious data collection goals of the CCP and the documented lack of transparency from TikTok and their executives over data and moderation practices has prompted governments, including the United States, the European Union, Canada, India and several U.S. States to ban the use of the application on government devices.
China has stated that they would "resolutely oppose" the forced sale of TikTok, showing importance that they place on the surveillance tool.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: Energy and Commerce House Republicans are upholding our Commitment to America and will fight to provide greater privacy and data security protections while equipping parents with more tools to keep their kids safe online.