TikTok boasts more than a billion users; however, recently, concerns have grown over its handling of US users’ personal data. A few days ago, TikTok released a statement in a blog post to address its measures for protecting users’ information.
Only 10 days later, Brendan Carr, FCC Commissioner, wrote an Email directed to Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple, requesting the companies to ban the video-sharing platform from the respective app stores.
FCC Commissioner requests Google and Apple to ban TikTok
Once again, the concerns relate to the personal data of American citizens, and this time it is claimed that the popular social media app headquartered in China might access sensitive information. As per Carr, the users’ confidential data is being accessed in Beijing as he labels TikTok as ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
The senior Republican Commissioner references an article published recently under a BuzzFeed News report. It claims that it has access to over 80 leaked audios from the internal company meeting, indicating that the employees at ByteDance (The parent company of TikTok), based in China, have access to the private information of American users.
Allegedly, a TikTok’s Trust and Safety department member stated in September 2021 that “everything is seen in China.“ However, TikTok announced after BuzzFeed reports that it will move the U.S. user’s data to Oracle, which is only accessible in the States.
A Matter of National Security
However, Carr is still not convinced by the company’s efforts to address the data concerns. In the letter, he lists reports “concerning evidence and determinations regarding TikTok’s data practices .”It also claims that TikTok can effectively bypass iOS and Android’s safeguards to access the users’ sensitive data.
He underlined in his articles that this is, in fact, a matter of ‘unacceptable national security risk,’ and the data harvesting in Beijing with their access to the sensitive data is concerning and something that worries the commissioner.
He listed that TikTok is reportedly collecting data such as daft messages, search and browsing histories, biometric identifiers, keystroke patterns, and metadata like text, videos, and images on the clipboard.
In the letter, the commissioner gave the two tech giants till 8th July to convey an explanation as to why TikTok is still on the stores aimed the concerns.