WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The CEO of TikTok is about to be the center of attention on Capitol Hill.
In a highly anticipated hearing this week, lawmakers will have the chance to question him as they consider legislation to ban the app altogether.
On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing focused on the popular app. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is expected to answer questions about that hearing.
Lawmakers should address concerns about what data the Chinese-owned app collects, who has access to it, and how the app could be used for propaganda.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is one of the lawmakers on the committee who will have a chance to question Chew.
“I have concerns,” Dingell said. “I will do what a responsible policy maker does, going to hearings, going to talk to people, going to know the facts.”
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This issue is uniting lawmakers on both sides as they consider the threats posed by TikTok.
Senator Josh Hawley is behind one of the bills that would ban the app from the US.
“Unless they protect themselves from the Communist Party of China, they must be banned,” Hawley said.
There are reports that the White House is pushing TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the app to American owners. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would not confirm whether the administration intends to ban TikTok if it doesn’t happen.
“The president believes it is important to protect the privacy and security of Americans,” said Jean-Pierre.
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Senator Mark Warner is leading a bipartisan push to pass a bill to give the Biden administration more power to crack down on TikTok, even with a possible ban. Senator Warner has long said that the app poses national security risks.
“TikTok has to answer to the communist party, it’s the Chinese law. Then, your data is at risk of being used in malicious ways down the line,” Warner said.
TikTok is already banned from federal devices and government devices in several states as well.