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Google and Apple called for the TikTok app to be banned by the FCC commissioner

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A US Federal Communications Commissioner is asking Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores due to concerns that user data from the very popular social media platform will be available in China.

In a tweet Wednesday, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr shared one letter addressed to Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, CEOs of Apple and Google’s parents Alphabet, respectively. He raised concerns about TikTok’s Chinese ownership, saying “it is reaping the rewards of sensitive data that new reports show is gaining access in Beijing.”

Carr referred to a recent BuzzFeed News report that revealed that Beijing-based employees of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, repeatedly had access to private information about US users, despite the company’s assurances to the contrary.

“It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data being combined with Beijing’s seemingly uncontrolled access to this data,” Carr wrote. “But it’s clear that TikTok’s behavior and misrepresentations regarding the unrestricted access that people in Beijing have to sensitive US user data … do not comply with guidelines that both of your companies require that each app comply with as a condition of remaining available in your app stores. “

He said that TikTok is far from just a fun video app for young people, and called that aspect of the business “sheep’s clothing” meant to hide the fact that it is a sophisticated tool for mass surveillance.

TikTok was a frequent target for regulators and White House officials during the Trump administration. ByteDance eventually entered into an agreement that allowed TikTok to continue operating in the United States, primarily through a promise to store user data in the United States.

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