FCC Wants to Ban TikTok, Urges Google, Apple to Action

ban TikTok

Brendan Carr, the FCC commissioner, wrote to Apple and Google on Tuesday and asked them to ban TikTok from their app stores due to its record of sneaky data practices. This follows BuzzFeed News’s revelation last week that employees of TikTok in China had access to the data of users residing in the US up until January.

“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.” Carr said in a letter to Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook, “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,” Carr added.

It has long been known that TikTok is more than just a simple video app. It is a meticulously designed piece of tech that is made to spread and proliferate while gathering data about its users.

Swathes of this data are gathered and accessible to the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Beijing, giving American people a strong argument to ban TikTok. China’s recent political stances regarding Russia have also further put TikTok in the spotlight.

After BuzzFeed News published its article, TikTok promptly defended itself by announcing that it was transferring all US customers’ data to local Oracle servers. It stated that the business continues to use its own backup US and Singaporean servers. However, they reportedly plan to remove private data of US customers from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers based in the US in the future.

In keeping with this approach, the company added that they are also implementing operational adjustments, including the new department created with leadership headquartered in the US to manage US user data for TikTok.

TikTok’s methods regarding user data have frequently raised questions. India opted to ban TikTok in 2020 due to national security concerns, and both Joe Biden and previous president Donald Trump have questioned the short video app’s ties to China and how it impacts the data of US users. Biden advocated new regulations that will offer more supervision on applications with links to “jurisdiction of foreign adversaries” that may pose national security problems, but Trump supported an outright ban on TikTok or the possibility of selling its US company to a local buyer.