Oct 29, 2019

Hawley to lead hearing on China's threat to data

Sen. Josh Hawley. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley plans to spotlight risks to consumer data posed by foreign governments and cyberattacks in a hearing next month, amid rising concerns about Chinese social media firm TikTok.

Driving the news: Hawley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary crime and terrorism subcommittee, will explore security concerns raised by social platforms that collect vast amounts of user data in a Nov. 5 hearing called “How Corporations and Big Tech Leave Our Data Exposed to Criminals, China, and Other Bad Actors,” according to his office.

  • Hawley’s office did not name specific companies, but TikTok is facing growing scrutiny from lawmakers who have requested investigations of the popular app.
  • Hawley has also frequently criticized Apple for its operations in China.
  • The hearing will also look at cyber attacks on major American firms. The Marriott data breach that exposed the information of up to 500 million was traced to Chinese hackers.

The big picture: Big troves of consumer data have become major corporate assets as well as targets for cyberattacks. Storing the data overseas makes it potentially subject to foreign law.

  • Hawley, a prominent big tech critic, wants to explore all these issues for the first hearing he’s leading as chairman of the subcommittee.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional detail about Apple's likely part in the hearing.

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