TikTok is about to lose a key safety executive as the app faces growing pressure from lawmakers and threats of a ban in the United States.
TikTok’s Head of US Data Security Trust and Safety Eric Han is set to leave the company next week. His departure was confirmed to CNN by TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan. The news was first reported Tuesday by The Verge.
In the role, which he has held since 2019, Han led policy decisions such as those aimed at reducing the spread of dangerous challenges and cracking down on paid political posts by influencers. The position will be temporarily filled by Andy Bonillo, TikTok’s interim general manager of US data security, until a permanent replacement is found, Shanahan said.
With the move, TikTok will lose a key safety leader at a difficult moment for the platform. US lawmakers in recent months have ramped up calls for a nationwide ban of the app over concerns that its parent company ByteDance’s connections to China could pose a national security risk to the United States.
TikTok confirmed in March that federal officials have demanded that the app’s Chinese owners sell their stake in the social media platform, or risk facing a US ban of the app. And last month, Montana lawmakers approved legislation to ban TikTok on personal devices, which would make it the first state to do so, assuming the bill is signed by the state’s governor.
TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified before Congress in March and attempted to reassure lawmakers about the safety of the app and the security of US users’ data.
TikTok did not respond to a question about the reason for Han’s departure.