A member of the United States Federal Communications Commission has asked tech giants Google and Apple to remove the TikTok app from their respective stores in fears that user intel is being fed towards China.
Brendan Carr posted a tweet following a report from BuzzFeed News that revealed personal data belonging to US-based TikTok users had been accessed from within China several times.
Within his tweet, Carr said that “TikTok is not just another video app”, adding “that’s just the sheep’s clothing”. He points out that he’s spoken to representatives from both Google and Apple regarding his request for the app to be immediately removed from both their respective online stores, while adding a number of images from an official letter he sent to both companies to his post.
TikTok is not just another video app.
That’s the sheep’s clothing.
It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) June 28, 2022
In the letter, Carr goes on to say that there have been a number of other reports that show “concerning evidence and determinations regarding TikTok’s data practices”, such as cases discovered by researchers where the app bypassed all safety nets on Android and iOS devices to gain access to private information. Carr went as far as to describe TikTok as a “risk to national security”.
It’s worth mentioning that TikTok belongs to Chinese company ByteDance. However, a few hours before the report came to light, the social media platform had announced that they were migrating all traffic coming from the US to their new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure as a means to address concerns raised from people within the nation regarding the use of their personal data.
Additionally, while this report does seem to touch on some very serious topics, Carr is a Republican member within a marginally Democrat-run FCC board, which means that his standalone request towards the two tech firms Google and Apple to take down TikTok doesn’t seem to hold much ground in the long run.
That being said, the US Commissioner has given the two companies until July 8th to come up with a response.
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