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FCC commissioner calls on Apple, Google to drop TikTok over security concerns

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The lead Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission urged Apple and Google to remove the TikTok app from their stores over data-security concerns connected to China. The official called the app an “unacceptable national security risk.”

TikTok has become one of the top social platforms in history, having been downloaded billions of times, and it has been the top-grossing app in the world, according to Hootsuite. It’s currently on track to triple its revenue this year and is approaching Facebook for the top spot as the planet’s social media giant, Bloomberg reported this month.

However, the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has serious security issues — issues that were once again reported two weeks ago when BuzzFeed revealed that leaked audio from dozens of internal TikTok meetings showed that China has repeatedly accessed U.S. user data.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr sent a letter to Apple and Google explaining why “TikTok is not just another video app.” In a tweet accompanying a copy of the letter, Carr wrote that the app “harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing,” including search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers such as faceprint and voiceprints, location data, draft messages, metadata, and everything stored on a device’s clipboard.

“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 said in his letter. “But it is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data … puts it out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app stores.”

Calls to get rid of TikTok are not new. In 2020, President Donald Trump attempted to ban it via executive order due to national security threats. But courts halted the effort when the Biden administration took over and indicated it would not pursue action, NPR reported.

MAHMOUD BENNETT: TIKTOK IS BACK IN THE HEADLINES UNDER A NEW THREAT OF GETTING WIPED FROM THE APP STORE

THE US FCC COMMISSIONER NOW CALLING ON APPLE AND GOOGLE TO REMOVE THE POPULAR APPLICATION FROM THEIR STORES CITING THREATS OF CHINESE SURVEILLANCE:

IN A LETTER COMMISSIONER BRENDAN CARR WRITING QUOTE:

“AT ITS CORE, TIKTOK FUNCTIONS AS A SOPHISTICATED SURVEILLANCE TOOL THAT HARVESTS EXTENSIVE AMOUNTS OF PERSONAL AND SENSITIVE DATA.”

CALLS TO GET RID OF TIK TOK ARE NOT NEW. IN 2020, PRESIDENT TRUMP EVEN HAD A NATIONAL BAN READY TO GO – SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER DECLARING THE CHINESE OWNED PLATFORM A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY

COURTS PAUSED THAT BAN WHEN THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TOOK POWER – MANY CALLING THE EFFORTS POLITICAL TODAY TIK TOK’S OWN USERS ARE RAISING RED FLAGS AND IT’S PUSHED EXPERTS TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

TIKTOK COLLECTS EVERYTHING FROM SEARCH HISTORY – TO KEYSTROKES, LOCATION AND YOUR FACEPRINT – CRITICS SAY THIS MIRRORS THE SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT USES ON ITS OWN PEOPLE

BUT THE APP ALREADY HAS A MASSIVE CULTURAL INFLUENCE AROUND THE WORLD SURPASSING ONE BILLION USERS IN 2021 – IT’S ON TRACK TO TRIPLE IT’S REVENUE THIS YEAR INCHING CLOSER TO FACEBOOK’S TOP SPOT AS THE SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT OF THE WORLD

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The lead Republican commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission urged Apple and Google to remove the TikTok app from their stores over data-security concerns connected to China. The official called the app an “unacceptable national security risk.”

TikTok has become one of the top social platforms in history, having been downloaded billions of times, and it has been the top-grossing app in the world, according to Hootsuite. It’s currently on track to triple its revenue this year and is approaching Facebook for the top spot as the planet’s social media giant, Bloomberg reported this month.

However, the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has serious security issues — issues that were once again reported two weeks ago when BuzzFeed revealed that leaked audio from dozens of internal TikTok meetings showed that China has repeatedly accessed U.S. user data.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr sent a letter to Apple and Google explaining why “TikTok is not just another video app.” In a tweet accompanying a copy of the letter, Carr wrote that the app “harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing,” including search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers such as faceprint and voiceprints, location data, draft messages, metadata, and everything stored on a device’s clipboard.

“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 said in his letter. “But it is also clear that TikTok’s pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data … puts it out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to as a condition of remaining available on your app stores.”

Calls to get rid of TikTok are not new. In 2020, President Donald Trump attempted to ban it via executive order due to national security threats. But courts halted the effort when the Biden administration took over and indicated it would not pursue action, NPR reported.

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