Brendan Carr, a Commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, has called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores:
TikTok is not just another video app.— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) June 28, 2022
That’s the sheep’s clothing.
It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.
I’ve called on @Apple & @Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices. pic.twitter.com/Le01fBpNjn
In an official letter to the two companies, Carr alleges the short-video app poses a serious threat to not only its users sensitive data, but to U.S. national security.
TikTok has always been highly scrutinized for its data protection practices. Owned by China-based company, ByteDance, Carr cites a recent Buzzfeed News report that reviews leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings showing that employees based in China “have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about U.S. TikTok users."
In the letter, Carr also points out that the app has already been banned from all government devices by U.S. military branches and national security agencies.
From search and browsing histories to keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers, draft messages and metadata, and text, images, and videos stored on a device's clipboard, the platform is harvesting "swaths" of sensitive data that has been proven to have been accessed by TikTok employees in Beijing.
This fact, plus the platform's pattern of misrepresentations coupled with its obligation to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) is what Carr describes as "troubling."
And, according to Carr, there’s plenty of precedent for holding TikTok accountable by booting it from these app stores. Read more in his letter here: pic.twitter.com/Le01fBpNjn