WASHINGTON, March 8, 2020 — “The American public deserves to know” about ethically questionable business practices conducted by Apple and TikTok, asserted Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, at a Wednesday Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on big tech and China.
Apple and TikTok representatives were notably absent at the Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee hearing in fact titled, “Dangerous Partners: Big Tech and Beijing.”
TikTok, a social media app based in China, is among the first global social media sensations originating from China. It was the most downloaded app of 2019.
But to Americans, the company has been embroiled in scandal for allegedly siphoning data such as search history, keystrokes, and even facial data from its American users. And, of course, it has Chinese board members, including high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party.
But TikTok wasn’t the only Silicon Valley-Chinese crossover company in the crosshairs of Congress.
Apple has been criticized by Congress for its willingness to comply with Chinese laws, and an alleged complicity in human rights violations of Chinese workers.
“Come to this hearing room, take an oath like these other witnesses have done, and testify,” challenged Hawley. “Tell us about what you’re doing in China, tell us about your relationship with Beijing. Tell us about the kind of labor in Apple’s case, and maybe TikTok’s, that you rely upon.”
Hawley used the opportunity to announce new legislation that would prohibit all federal workers from using TikTok on any federal device. “This is a necessary step to protect the security of the United States, and the data security of every American,” said Hawley.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., encouraged security experts present at the hearing to make the public aware of the data threats to which the it consents when consumers agree to the terms and conditions of apps like TikTok – which Whitehouse referred to once in his questioning as “Tic-tac.”
Whitehouse likened proposals to monitor TikTok more closely to the warning label on pack of cigarettes and the consumer tag on a mattress.
“It seems to me that there is a coalition of the willing” among several Western countries to more closely surveil foreign apps and flag suspect data agreements, said Whitehouse.
Hawley ended the panel by goading Apple and TikTok, the absentee panelists. Turning to fellow committee member Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois: “You know, we ought to make it a tradition in this hearing room. We’ll just provide an open chair to Apple and TikTok. You have relevant testimony to give.”
- Biden Commits to Net Neutrality, Twitter Hacking Spree, EU Court Rules Against Data Sharing Pact
- Social Media Platforms Should Increase Algorithm Transparency, Say Broadband Breakfast Live Online Panelists
- States Must Increase Accessibility of Both In-Person and Remote Voting, Say Brookings Panelists
- Breakfast Media Minute: July 16, 2020
- Air Force Aims to Expand 5G Capabilities to All Bases, According to CTO Frank Konieczny
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Artificial Intelligence4 weeks ago
Brookings Panelists Emphasize Importance of Addressing Biases in Artificial Intelligence Technology
Artificial Intelligence2 weeks ago
U.S. State Department Employing Artificial Intelligence Against COVID-19 Misinformation
Broadband Roundup2 weeks ago
Artificial Intelligence Task Force, State Cybersecurity, ADTRAN Offers Rural Funding Guidance
#broadbandlive4 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 – Federal Broadband Funds and Opportunity Zones
Education3 weeks ago
A Mix of Resources and Technologies Are Needed to Close the Homework Gap
Fiber1 month ago
Bandwidth Demands Project 10 Gigabit Network Capabilities Required Next Decade
5G1 week ago
Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg Describes 5G-to-the-Home Vision, Claiming U.S. Leads in 5G Deployment
House of Representatives3 weeks ago
Witnesses Blame Social Media Algorithms for Spread of Misinformation