TikTok is getting in trouble. The FCC (Federal Communications Commission), a U.S. government communications agency, has asked Apple and Google in a letter to remove the social network from their app stores. For this initiative is Brendan Carr, a member of the commission, shared the text of the request on Twitter.
The social network is owned by Bytedance, a Chinese company. The FCC condemns alleged violation of Apple and Google’s digital store policies. Carr addressed the letter to Tim Cook, CEO of the Cupertino-based company, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet.
“TikTok is not what it seems to be. It’s not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes,” Carr says. Social works as a sophisticated surveillance tool that collects large amounts of personal and sensitive data.”
The federal commissioner appointed by Trump in 2018 cites BuzzFeed News’ report that Chinese social media engineers had access to nonpublic data from U.S. users between September 2021 and January 2022. The confirmation came at more than 80 meetings between TikTok employees.
Social media spokeswoman Maureen Shanahan responded to BuzzFeed News’ investigation with a brief statement: “We know we are among the most security-reviewed platforms and aim to remove any concerns about U.S. user data. That’s why we hire experts in their fields, continually work to validate our standards, and engage reliable, independent third parties to test our defenses.”
TikTok had already resisted Trump’s attempts to block enforcement, with prohibitions never applied. In June 2021, President Joe Biden revoked his predecessor’s executive orders attempting to force ByteDance to cede the social network to a U.S. company.
Brendan Carr explained in the letter: “TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, an organization linked to the Chinese Communist Party. It is clear how it poses an unacceptable risk to national security due to its extensive data collection combined with China’s seemingly uncontrolled access to sensitive data.”