A member of the Federal Communications Commission's leadership called on Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their platforms due to the video-hosting service's access in China.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, in a letter dated June 24, wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to request that they remove TikTok from their respective online stores for failing to comply to their companies' policies and posing "serious national security threats."
"TikTok is not just another video app. That's the sheep’s clothing," Carr tweeted Tuesday. "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."
The New York Times reported that Carr's request unlikely would gain traction because the FCC does not regulate the app stores, and the commission’s agenda largely is set by its Democrat chair, Jessica Rosenworcel.
In his letter to the CEOs, Carr cited a recent Buzzfeed News report saying that leaked audio recordings showed that Beijing-based TikTok parent company ByteDance repeatedly accessed sensitive data collected from U.S. users who downloaded the app in the Apple or Google store.
TikTok maintains it has taken steps to keep Chinese employees from gaining access to its data. Although the company said it was routing all data from U.S. users through servers controlled by the American cloud computing company Oracle, a recent report said it was struggling to do so, the Times said.
"TikTok has long claimed that its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S. and yet those representations provided no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing," wrote Carr, a Republican.
"Indeed, TikTok’s statement that '100 percent of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle' says nothing about where that data can be accessed from."
It was reported Tuesday that six Republican senators wrote Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to demand the Biden administration provide a plan to combat any security risks posed by TikTok.
"We write to inquire about the Biden administration’s delayed response to the national security and privacy risks posed by TikTok, the video-sharing social media platform developed and owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd.," the senators said.
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