August 8, 2022

FCC commissioner pushes Apple and Google to remove TikTok

FCC commissioner pushes Apple and Google to remove TikTok

An FCC member asked Google and Apple for removal tik tok from their app stores, citing concerns that the popular Chinese-owned video app might send US data to Beijing.

In a letter to the companies released on Tuesday, Republican Commissioner Brendan Carr said he believes “TikTok’s behavior pattern and misrepresentations regarding the unrestricted access that people in Beijing are required to access sensitive user data in the United States” violate Apple and Google standards and should Take out TikTok from the app stores.

Carr’s request is unlikely to gain traction because the FCC does not regulate app stores and the commission’s agenda is largely set by its Democratic chair. But it does show continued pressure on Chinese tech companies from officials in Washington.

Policymakers have long worried that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could reveal its data to the Chinese government. Former President Donald J. Trump tried to do it Forcing ByteDance to sell the app Or face expulsion from app stores in 2020. At some point, the Trump administration announced a deal in which Oracle, the US cloud computing company, had acquired part of the company. The sale did not pay off.

The Biden administration It considered other measures to keep US data out of China but did not publicly push TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese owner.

TikTok has confirmed that it is taking steps to prevent employees in China from accessing its data. Shortly before a recent news report revealed that she was struggling to do just that, she He said It routed all data from its US users through servers controlled by Oracle.

Brooke Oberwetter, a TikTok spokeswoman, said the company is dealing with lawmakers who have raised questions about its data practices. Google spokesman Jose Castaneda declined to comment. Apple and the FCC did not respond to requests for comment.

In his message, Mr. Carr said he did not believe TikTok’s efforts would make a difference.

He wrote: “TikTok has long claimed that its US user data is stored on servers in the US, yet these representations have not provided any protection against data accessed from Beijing.” In fact, TikTok’s statement that “100 percent of US user traffic is directed to Oracle” says nothing about where this data may be accessed from.