TECHNOLOGY

FCC commissioner calls on Apple, Google to remove TikTok from app stores

Jun 30, 2022, 6:02 AM | Updated: 9:09 am
FILE: In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 ...
FILE: In this photo illustration, the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

(CNN) — A member of the Federal Communications Commission is renewing calls for Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, citing national security concerns surrounding TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance.

In a June 24 letter to the CEOs of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL), FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr described ByteDance as “beholden” to the Chinese government and “required by law to comply with [Chinese government] surveillance demands.” Citing a recent BuzzFeed News report that ByteDance’s Chinese staff had accessed U.S. TikTok users’ data on multiple occasions, Carr said the allegations showed how TikTok is “out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to.”

Apple and Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, TikTok called the BuzzFeed report “misleading.”

“Like many global companies, TikTok has engineering teams around the world,” TikTok said. “We employ access controls like encryption and security monitoring to secure user data, and the access approval process is overseen by our US-based security team. TikTok has consistently maintained that our engineers in locations outside of the US, including China, can be granted access to U.S. user data on an as-needed basis under those strict controls.”

In a statement, Buzzfeed News said it “stands categorically behind our reporting that U.S. user data was accessed by China-based TikTok employees far more frequently than previously known, and we’re glad that TikTok even confirmed this in its own statement.”

For years, U.S. officials have expressed concerns that Chinese government access to U.S. users’ data or communications could put national security at risk. But whether Carr’s plea will work is uncertain.

The FCC plays no role in regulating internet-based services such as app stores, and prior efforts by the U.S. government to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores have faltered amid court challenges. Decisions about how and whether the FCC should act would require buy-in from Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who leads the independent federal agency.

The same day as the BuzzFeed report, TikTok announced that it had migrated its US user data to Oracle cloud servers based in the United States, and that it would eventually be deleting backups of its U.S. user data from its own proprietary servers.

Carr wrote in his letter that he was not assured by the announcement. “TikTok has long claimed that its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S. and yet those representations provided no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing,” he said. “Indeed, TikTok’s statement that ‘100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle’ says nothing about where that data can be accessed from.”

– CNN’s Oliver Darcy contributed to this report


The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Technology

On August 9, Snapchat introduced its first parental control center, aimed at helping parents keep t...
Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN Business

Snapchat rolls out option to let parents see who their teens are messaging

Snapchat on Tuesday introduced its first parental control center, nearly 10 months after an executive from the company told Congress it was developing tools aimed at helping parents keep their teens safe.
7 days ago
Workers assemble laptop computer on the assembly line at Hasee Computer company's manufacturing cen...
Rishi Iyengar, CNN Business

The next frontier in the tech battle between the US and China

A new battleground is emerging: the components that power our smartphones, computers, automobiles and home appliances.
7 days ago
The East Bay Starbucks location on University Avenue in Provo. (Starbucks)...
Josh Ellis

Provo Starbucks gets first EV chargers as part of Denver to Seattle network

Four electric vehicle charging stations have been installed at a Provo Starbucks as part of a plan to electrify an underserved route from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Northwest. 
8 days ago
Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant (PG&E)...
MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press

Not so fast: California’s last nuke plant might run longer

California's last operating nuclear power plant could get a second lease on life.
9 days ago
FILE: Elon Musk (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Musk says Twitter deal could move ahead with ‘bot’ info

Elon Musk said his planned $44 billion takeover of Twitter could move forward if the company can confirm details on which accounts are ‘spam bots’ or real people.
11 days ago
MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 14:  In this photo illustration, the icon for the dating app Tinder is seen on t...
Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN Business

Tinder’s first female CEO out after less than a year

Tinder's newest CEO is out after less than a year on the job, marking the second high-profile female executive to depart its parent company.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
FCC commissioner calls on Apple, Google to remove TikTok from app stores