The US Government Piles Pressure on Apple, Google to Pull TikTok From Stores

The US Government Piles Pressure on Apple, Google to Pull TikTok From Stores

  • The US government is mounting pressure on Apple and Google to remove video app, TikTok from their stores
  • According to the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC), the apple is harvesting the data of US users and sending them to the Chinese government
  • FCC Commissioner, Brendan Carr wrote to the CEOs of both tech companies urging them to pull the app as it has become a monitoring tool for China

The United State government is mounting pressure on tech giants, Apple and Google to pull the popular video app, TikTok from their stores over privacy concerns.

The United States Federal Communication Commission (FCC) wrote to Apple and Google asking them to delete TikTok from the app stores. The Commissioner for FCC, Brendan Carr told the CEOs of the two tech companies, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, in a letter accusing the Chinese app of harvesting a massive amount of sensitive data for China.

Google, Apple, TikTok, US
US government asks Google and Apple to delete TikTok Credit: Mark Green
Source: Getty Images

App 'harvesting' data of US citizens

Nairametrics writes that Carr alleged that the video app is not just for sharing funny memes and videos but a complex surveillance tool that plucks an extensive amount of individual and important data.

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CNBC reports that Carr cited a BuzzFeed article which says that TikTok staff in China have accessed data of US-based users up until January 2022.

Carr's letter to Cook and Pichai touches core stores' values

Carr’s letter dated June 24, 2022, and addressed to the bosses of the two tech firms, said that TikTok is available to millions of Americans through their app stores and it takes a vast amount of data concerning US users, saying that TikTok is owned by Beijing-owned ByteDance, a firm with allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and is required by the Chinese government to abide by its surveillance requests.

Carr said that the app is a national security risk because of its extensive data plucking in addition to China’s open and unchecked access to sensitive data.

The FCC boss said the two tech companies regard themselves as operating app stores that are safe and reliable places to find and download apps, saying that available data show that the app has been downloaded from the stores 19 million times in the first three months of 2022 alone.

TikTok's loss, Facebook's gain

TikTok has a global user base of one billion and has been the target of US companies like Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram which have cloned TikTok’s interface called Reels in order to lure users to their platforms.

The video app has been a target of onslaughts from several governments around the world.

India, in 2020, banned it over national security worries. Donald Trump has on several occasions railed against the app, calling it a Chinese spy machine. His successor, Joe Biden has also raised concerns about it.


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