A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission has encouraged the CEO of Apple and Alphabet’s Google to remove TikTok which is a Chinese-owned app from their app stores.
FCC commissioner, Brendan Carr stated in a letter to the CEOs on 24th June and again sent on FCC letterhead that TikTok which is a video sharing app has gathered vast troves of data that are sensitive about US users that could be retrieved by ByteDance staff in Beijing. ByteDance is the Chinese parent of TikTok.
Google Apple: TikTok, Carr even further asked the companies to either remove TikTok from their app stores by 8th July or explain to Carr why they didn’t intend to do so. Carr’s request is unexpected given that the FCC does not have clear authority over the content of app stores.
The FCC controls the national security space which is done usually through its authority to allow certain licenses of communications to the companies.
A spokeswoman of TikTok claimed that the company’s engineers in locations outside the US including China can be permitted access to US user data on the basis of their need and also under “strict controls”. Meanwhile, Google turned down the comment on Carr’s letter, while Apple did not respond to the request immediately.