In light of national security threats posed by TikTok, Commissioner Brendan Carr called on both Apple and Google to ban TikTok in their app stores.
Brendan Carr, the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) addressed the security issue in an open letter to Apple and Google on June 24.
National Security ThreatAs indicated in Carr’s letter, TikTok is owned by Beijing-based Byte Dance—an organization that abides by the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) surveillance demands.
“Bipartisan leaders in both the Senate and House have flagged concerns,” Carr said.
In the letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Carr mentioned that multiple U.S. military branches; and national security agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the TSA; have banned TikTok. Military troops and their dependents are also urged to erase the app from their personal phones.
Carr requested both Apple and Google to comply with their app store policies that claim to protect consumer privacy and safeguard their data.
Human Rights AbuseWhen the Trump administration banned TikTok via an Executive Order in 2020, TikTok rebutted: “TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community—always.”
However, as Carr mentioned in his letter, TikTok agreed to pay $92 million in 2021 to settle lawsuits alleging that the app “clandestinely vacuumed up and transferred to servers in China (and to other servers accessible from within China) vast quantities of private and personally identifiable user data and content that could be employed to identify, profile, and track the physical and digital location and activities of United States users now and in the future.”
As Carr said, “TikTok doesn’t just see its users' dance videos.”