The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has written to Apple and Google requesting them to remove TikTok from their app stores.
The FCC Commissioner, Brendan Carr, in the letter, addressed to the CEOs of both companies, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, accused TikTok of harvesting swaths of sensitive data that are being accessed in Beijing.
In summary, it might soon be time for Americans to say goodbye to TikTok, at least people living in the country won’t be having access to the app.
Here is the excerpt from the FCC Commissioner, Brendan Carrr’s letter dated June 24, 2022:
As you know TikTok is an app that is available to millions of Americans through your app stores, and it collects vast troves of sensitive data about those US users. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — an organization that is beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by the Chinese law to comply with PRC’s surveillance demands.
It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.
I am writing to the two of you because Apple and Google hold themselves out as operating app stores that are safe and trusted places to discover and download apps. Nonetheless, Apple and Google have reviewed and approved the TikTok app for inclusion in your respective app stores. Indeed, statistics show that TikTok has been downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store nearly 19 million times in the first quarter of this year alone.
It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that data. Therefore, I am requesting that you apply the plain text of your app store policies to TikTok and remove it from your app stores for failure to abide by those terms.