F.C.C. Commissioner Pushes Apple and Google to Remove TikTok

A member of the Federal Communications Fee has requested Google and Apple to take away TikTok from their app shops, citing issues that the favored Chinese language-owned video app might ship American knowledge again to Beijing.

In a letter to the businesses launched on Tuesday, Brendan Carr, a Republican commissioner, mentioned he believed that “TikTok’s sample of conduct and misrepresentations concerning the unfettered entry that individuals in Beijing need to delicate U.S. consumer knowledge” violated Apple’s and Google’s requirements and that TikTok needs to be taken out of the app shops.

Mr. Carr’s request is unlikely to achieve traction as a result of the F.C.C. doesn’t regulate the app shops and the fee’s agenda is essentially set by its Democratic chairwoman. But it surely reveals the sustained stress on Chinese language tech firms from officers in Washington.

Policymakers have lengthy nervous that TikTok’s Chinese language dad or mum firm, ByteDance, might expose its knowledge to the Chinese language authorities. Former President Donald J. Trump tried to power ByteDance to promote the app or face expulsion from app shops in 2020. At one level, the Trump administration introduced a deal by which Oracle, the American cloud computing firm, would have taken over a few of the firm. The sale by no means got here to fruition.

The Biden administration has thought-about different measures to maintain American knowledge away from China however has not publicly pushed TikTok to chop ties with its Chinese language proprietor.

TikTok has maintained that it’s taking steps to maintain workers in China from having access to its knowledge. Shortly earlier than a current information report revealed it was struggling to take action, it mentioned it was routing all knowledge from its U.S. customers via servers managed by Oracle.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, mentioned the corporate was partaking with lawmakers who had requested questions on its knowledge practices. Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman, declined to remark. Apple and the F.C.C. didn’t reply to requests for remark.

In his letter, Mr. Carr mentioned he didn’t imagine TikTok’s efforts would make a distinction.

“TikTok has lengthy claimed that its U.S. consumer knowledge has been saved on servers within the U.S., and but these representations offered no safety towards the info being accessed from Beijing,” he wrote. “Certainly, TikTok’s assertion that ‘one hundred pc of US consumer visitors is being routed to Oracle’ says nothing about the place that knowledge could be accessed from.”