FCC Commissioner Urges Apple & Google to Remove TikTok from App Stores
Brendan Carr, one of the FCC’s commissioners, sent a letter to the heads of Apple and Google requesting the removal of the extremely popular TikTok app.
Why Does the FCC Want to Ban TikTok
The reasoning that the letter, which was dated June 24th on official Federal Communications Commission (FCC) letterhead, gave was that of China-related data security concerns.
TikTok is probably the most popular app that is out today, especially for the younger generation. It is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which you'll probably remember faced scrutiny over data security concerns from Donald Trump.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr shared a letter he penned to the CEO's of Apple and Alphabet (parent company of Google) via Twitter.
The letter pointed to reports, as well as other developments that made TikTok non-compliant with the policies of the two companies’ app store.
FCC Letter to Google and Apple
In the letter, Carr said that if Apple and Google do not remove TikTok from their app stores, then they should provide statements to him by July 8th.
The statements should explain “the basis for your company’s conclusion that the surreptitious access of private and sensitive U.S. user data by persons located in Beijing, coupled with TikTok’s pattern of misleading representations and conduct, does not run afoul of any of your app store policies,” he said.
Within Carr's letter, he cites a BuzzFeed News report from earlier this month that said recordings of TikTok employee statements indicated engineers in China had access to U.S. data between September 2021 and January 2022.
The Buzzfeed article also had a statement from a TikTok spokesperson:
“We know we’re among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data. That’s why we hire experts in their fields, continually work to validate our security standards, and bring in reputable, independent third parties to test our defenses.”
The same day that the Buzzfeed article was published, TikTok announced it was routing all U.S. user traffic to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, and was moving U.S. users’ private data from its own data centers in the U.S. and Singapore to Oracle cloud servers in the U.S.