FCC chief calls on Apple, Google to drop TikTok from app stores

TikTok is more than just fun and videos, the FCC warned.
TikTok is more than just fun and videos, the FCC warned.(Solen Feyissa / CC BY-SA 2.0)
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 11:37 AM MDT
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(Gray News) - The commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission is urging Apple and Google to banish the popular social media app TikTok from its app stores.

In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, FCC leader Brendan Carr called out the popular app, saying it presents “an unacceptable national security risk” to millions of Americans who have downloaded it. Alphabet is the parent company of Google.

Carr argued in his letter that the app is a “sophisticated surveillance tool.”

He said app owner Bytedance, based in Beijing, has “unfettered access” to sensitive data harvested from its users, including biometric data, keystroke, browsing histories, and that information can possibly be accessed by the Chinese government.

He also accused the app owners of repeated deceit and said the app is “out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to.”

The FCC chief said TikTok is already banned for use on government computers, and the federal government has urged military members, federal workers, government officials, lawmakers and their families to shun the popular app.

He said that if Apple and Google decide not to remove TikTok from their respective app stores, they should respond by July 8 explaining their rationale.

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