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What Tiktok Users Must Know About Tiktok's Congressional Hearing.

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

TikTok congressional hearing started today, 23rd of March 2023, as the US congress is set to grill the chief executive officer of the social media platform in person. TikTok has not really been a good ally with the US government over the past few years over their privacy policies. According to the American government, Tiktok's privacy policy is not good enough for more than half of the American population using the app daily. In his first appearance before congress, TikTok CEO Shou Chew will face the panel and answer several questions relating to the company's privacy structure and the safety of American citizens who use the platform. 

It is already rumored that the American government might force TikTok CEO Shou Chew to sell off the company or shuts down its operations in the United States. Facing the House Energy and Commerce Committee, TikTok CEO Shou Chew will have to explain many things both to the congress and the American people who would be watching the proceedings. According to a statement made by the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week, Tiktok's CEO will clarify issues concerning "TikTok's consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms' impact on kids, and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party."

The major term that the US congress wants to CEO of TikTok to accept is to reassure them that the data of the US people are not being stolen by the Chinese communist party. The privacy and safety of teens using the platform are also a concern. In his statement, TikTok CEO Shou Chew said that his company does not work for any government around the world. He also assured congress that all the data of the US citizens are safe and are not exposed to any government in the world. "Let me state this unequivocally. ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country," Chew said while talking with the US Congress. 

Lawmakers Call for Tiktok's Ban in the US 

Despite TikTok CEO Shou Chew's explanations to the US congress, some of the lawmakers are still calling for the ban of the platform. The lawmakers suspect that Tiktok has strong ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance. Even the company's CEO has admitted while speaking to CNN that the US government wants the Chinese people who have stakes in the company to sell it off. If that is not done, the app has a strong chance of getting banned in the United States. 

Screenshot to TikTok CEO Shou Chew answering the congress during a heated hearing

Sen. Mark R. Warner, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, while speaking to the press on Wednesday, said lack of transparency is the major issue with Tiktok. "While I appreciate Mr. Chew's willingness to answer questions before Congress, TikTok's lack of transparency, repeated obfuscations, and misstatements of fact have severely undermined the credibility of any statements by TikTok employees, including Mr. Chew," Sen. Warner said. 

In his final remarks in front of the senators, Chew said that banning the social media platform because of TikTok's privacy policy will affect small businesses.

"We do not believe that a ban that hurts American small businesses, damages the country's economy, silences the voices of over 150 million Americans, and reduces competition in an increasingly concentrated market is the solution to a solvable problem," Chew said.