March 20, 2024

Congresswoman Val Hoyle Statement of Opposition to H.R. 7521

Cites Government Overreach and Free Speech Infringement

Washington, DC – On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, U.S. Representative Val Hoyle (OR-04) voted in opposition to H.R. 7521, the so-called Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. This bill would force the sale of the social media application TikTok, whose parent company, ByteDance, is based in China.

Let me be clear: I am concerned about the Chinese government collecting Americans’ personal data via TikTok and manipulating algorithms. But I also believe this is not just a TikTok problem, but it is a problem with social media and tech companies across-the-board. That is exactly why we need comprehensive regulation that addresses these practices, ensuring all social media platforms are held to the same standards of data privacy and ethical user engagement.

The bill also has unrealistic timelines for divestment by ByteDance that could result in U.S. users losing access to the app for an unknown amount of time, and it ignores the fact that the Chinese government can purchase Americans’ private data from third-party brokers.

H.R. 7521’s restriction of Americans’ free speech and the singling out of one company makes us no better than our adversaries and invites reciprocal attacks from other countries on U.S.-based companies. Instead of rushing a vote on a bill that was written behind closed doors without proper debate, Congress should pass comprehensive data privacy and security reform legislation that protects Americans from unconstitutional data collection by all companies, governments, and digital applications – not just one.”