FCC Commissioner Urges Apple and Google to Remove TikTok from Their App Stores

Image: Solen Feyissa via Unsplash
The FCC Commissioner cited “an overwhelming body of evidence that TikTok presents a serious national security threat.”

A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission in the U.S is pushing both Apple and Google to ban the highly-popular Chinese-owned TikTok app from its app stores.

Brendan Carr, the FCC commissioner, wrote a letter to the CEOs of Apple and Alphabet, on FCC letterhead, saying “TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or meme. That’s the sheep’s clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

He shared the letter on Twitter saying:


“It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing. I’ve called on Apple & Google to remove TikTok from their app stores for its pattern of surreptitious data practices.”

Carr said that if Apple and Google do not remove TikTok from their app stores, they should provide statements explaining why by July 8th.

He requested the company’s statements should explain “the basis for your company’s conclusion that the surreptitious access of private and sensitive U.S. user data by persons located in Beijing, coupled with TikTok’s pattern of misleading representations and conduct, does not run afoul of any of your app store policies.”

In an interview, Carr said that concerns over Chinese government access is only one issue of concern, adding that the app is breaking the privacy policies of both Apple and Google as well, which he feels should result in “booting them from the app stores.”