A member of the US Federal Communications Commission has publicly requested that Google and Apple remove TikTok from their respective app stores. He does not speak directly on behalf of the inspection body and thus seems to be acting on his own initiative.
The appropriate FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr claims that the social medium collects huge amounts of data and forwards it to ‘Beijing’, referring to TikTok parent company ByteDance. His opinion is based on a article from Buzzfeed News citing secret audio recordings and statements from multiple TikTok employees; Indeed, private data of US users could be accessed by ByteDance.
Although the extent of the privacy problem surrounding TikTok is still hardly known, the company previously assured that all data exchange is via American servers of the company Oracle. In its own words, the platform meets the requirements of the Americans. That plan, on the other hand, has already been criticized under President Trump’s administration. A similar privacy measure was also introduced in Europe earlier this year.
Roughly a year ago, President Biden reversed the decree issued by President Trump. Several official investigations have also been conducted into the platform, but so far no reason has emerged to completely ban the application from the Google and Apple app stores in the United States. TikTok is no longer allowed on devices of employees of the army and other national security organizations.
Update, Thursday: Buzzfeed was incorrectly referred to as the basis of Brendan Carr’s argument, but this was supposed to be Buzzfeed News. The medium falls under the Buzzfeed umbrella, but usually takes drastically different angles than the parent company.