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Brendan Carr, commissioner of the United States Federal Communications Commission has written asking Apple and Google to remove the TikTok app from their app stores due to data security issues. The popular short video app is owned by ByteDance in Beijing, which has previously faced pressure from former US President Donald Trump over national security issues.
In a letter to technology bullies, Carr referred to a Buzzfeed News report that ByteDance employees in China have frequently accessed non-public US user data. In an audio recording of TikTok’s internal meetings reached by the media, nine different employees made fourteen statements showing their access to US user data between September 2021 and January 2022.
TikTok has announced that it is moving all US user traffic data to Oracle Cloud infrastructure and that it is moving American user data from its US and Singapore data centers to Oracle cloud servers in the United States. The announcement was made on the same day as the BuzzFeed report, June 17. On Friday, June 24, a six-member Republican senate inquired with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about a further review of Tiken’s Biden national security.
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.
I’ve called on @Apple & @Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices. pic.twitter.com/Le01fBpNjn
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) June 28, 2022
“TikTok is not just another video app. Those are the garments of sheep. It casts a lot of sensitive information on new reports showing that it is being achieved in Beijing, ”Carr wrote in the letter.
“It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its data collection combined with Beijing access that seems unrestricted to that sensitive data. It is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of behavior and distortion of facts about the unrestricted access of Beijing people to sensitive US user data puts you in line with the policies of both your companies that require all applications to comply, ”he added.
The book also addresses some of the controversial short video communication platform applications it has encountered over the years, including the transfer of US data to Chinese servers, illegal access to user data and how India has blocked the app. On June 24, Carr also demanded that if Apple and Google did not remove the app from their app stores, they would have to give different answers to it, explaining the basics of inaction, on July 24th.
TikTok closed in India in June 2020. The Indian government said TikTok and 58 other programs “violate India’s sovereignty and integrity, protecting India, state security and social order.”