Apple declines to testify at second congressional hearing probing tech’s ties to China

Along with TikTok, Apple has declined a request from U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) to testify at a March congressional hearing that would have probed their relationships with China as many federal lawmakers see Beijing as a privacy and security threat.

Apple congressional hearing. Image: iCloud login screen
iCloud login screen
Tony Romm for The Washington Post:

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), one of TikTok’s leading critics, had invited the two tech firms to appear at a March 4 session, his office confirmed Monday. Both previously had declined to testify at a hearing last year on the same issue… In sitting out the hearing, Apple and TikTok still risk a verbal lashing on Capitol Hill, where Hawley, the chairman of a key Senate subcommittee, has previously upbraided both firms for failing to answer questions about their Chinese ties…

With Apple, the Republican senator lambasted the iPhone giant at his hearing last year for storing Chinese users’ data locally in accordance with government rules. The move threatens Apple customers’ security given Beijing’s broad surveillance powers, Hawley said then, even though Apple stresses it has not built backdoors into its products.

Hawley still plans to hold the March hearing, where U.S. law enforcement officials are set to testify, according to his office.

MacDailyNews Take: There is no need for Apple to show up in order to be used/abused as a PR tool. When serious issues need to be discussed, sans grandstanding, Apple will no doubt participate.

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