This past Sunday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the Chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, expressed that Congress should both pass a ban against TikTok AND a new federal data privacy law.
While making an appearance on the Sunday episode of CNN’s “State of the Union,” McMorris Rodgers stated that the relationship between TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance is a threat to all privacy and safety measures for the American citizens but added that the United States does need a new national data privacy in order to put an end to any other tech giants rushing in to try and get their mitts on American data.
“What we are seeing is that TikTok and Mr. Chew have repeatedly been caught in this lie that there’s not a connection to ByteDance and ultimately the [Chinese Communist Party],” expressed McMorris Rodgers. “So they cannot be trusted to protect our data. They cannot be trusted to ensure that our children’s mental health is a priority.”
“We need a national data privacy standard also,” she went on. “And that’s what Ranking Member [Frank] Pallone (D-NJ) and I have worked on and we’re going to introduce this Congress, because we need to take action, whether it’s TikTok, big tech, or other data brokers, to restrict the amount of data that they’re collecting to begin with.”
“We need to ensure that individuals have the right to know what their profile might be or it — or to be alerted if their information, their personal data is being accessed or transferred to another country like China. We need to protect kids, and we have the strongest protections for kids in the privacy proposal that we have been working on to protect anyone under the age of 17. And we need to stop this listening on devices of people.”
McMorris Rodgers also explained that a ban targeting TikTok should be a primary concern.
“I would say there’s an immediate threat via TikTok from the Chinese Communist Party, that is the reason that I believe we need to ban TikTok immediately.”
This response all seems to have spawned due to the recent call from New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez which sounded the alarm for a new national data privacy law as she tried to also defend TikTok against the encroaching ban being debated about the Chinese-owned app.
AOC claimed that the banning of TikTok “doesn’t really address the core of the issue, which is the fact that major social media companies are allowed to collect troves of deeply personal data about you that you don’t know about, without really any significant regulation whatsoever.”
“In fact, the United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that has no significant data or privacy protection laws on the books,” she concluded.