TikTok parent ByteDance proposed spending $1.5 billion to keep user data out of the hands of the Chinese government
TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement, “If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. The best way to address concerns about national security is with the transparent, U.S.-based protection of U.S. user data and systems, with robust third-party monitoring, vetting, and verification, which we are already implementing.”
Former President Donald Trump tried to get U.S. companies to buy TikTok’s U.S. operations
In order to please concerned administration officials, ByteDance said that it would spend $1.5 billion to prevent personal data and content from U.S. TikTok users from falling into the clutches of the Chinese government. Under this plan, ByteDance’s U.S. operations would be walled off from the rest of the firm and all data would be held in the U.S. The plan would give U.S. company Oracle access to inspect ByteDance’s algorithms for U.S. inspectors.
Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, refused to say whether Biden would ban TikTok if the bill passes and gives the president the ability to block the app in the U.S. The White House did say that it had “concerns with this particular app.” Ms. Jean-Pierre added, “We want to make sure that the digital products and services Americans use every day are safe and secure.”
Bipartisan legislation could allow U.S. Commerce Department to ban troubling foreign technology
Any resolution of this issue could still be months away and TikTok chief executive, Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week to answer questions from lawmakers. The main focus will be on the security issues that have the Biden administration anxious to ban TikTok in the U.S.
would require the Commerce Department to create a process to potentially ban troubling technology from foreign countries. In a statement, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said, “This legislation would empower the United States government to prevent certain foreign governments from exploiting technology services operating in the United States in a way that poses risks to Americans’ sensitive data and our national security.”
Last month, in response to a question about TikTok by an interviewer, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “Our intelligence community has been very clear about China’s efforts and intention to mold the use of this technology using data in a worldview that is completely inconsistent with our own.”