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TikTok to open 'transparency center' to counter privacy concerns

The popular video app has faced criticism from US lawmakers.

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Carrie Mihalcik Former Managing Editor / News
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US lawmakers and regulators have their eye on TikTok.

James Martin/CNET

Popular social video app TikTok on Wednesday said it plans to open a transparency center at its office in Los Angeles as part of its effort to "deepen our engagement with, and earn the trust of, our community as well as policymakers and the broader public."

TikTok, known for its quirky 15-second videos, has surged in popularity over the past year, but it's also come under increased scrutiny. US lawmakers have accused the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, of being a threat to national security, and the Army and Navy have banned the app from government devices.

The center will open in May, TikTok said, with an initial focus on the app's content moderation practices, but it will later expand to matters of data privacy and security. The company said the center will give "outside experts" a chance to view its day-to-day operations and provide feedback on its practices.