FCC Commissioner Calls For TikTok To Be Removed From App Stores

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Image: Solen Feyissa | Unsplash

In June, BuzzFeed News reported a “leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users — exactly the type of behavior that inspired former President Donald Trump to threaten to ban the app in the United States.” In the past, TikTok faced accusations, which they denied, and confirmed information about users remained in the United States, and not with TikTok’s parent company in China. Now, a commissioner from the FCC wants the app removed from App stores.

According to BuzzFeed, employees in China accessed American users’ private information, although TikTok repeatedly denied this. The FCC, which stands for Federal Communications Commission, regulates communications through electronic devices, like radio, television, or cable as an example. Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote to the CEOs of Apple and Google to ask them to remove the apps from their stores, saying the app is not just another app. “TikTok is not just another video app. That’s the sheep’s clothing. It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.”

Senators also wrote to TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, and asked about user privacy and previous comments from “TikTok’s vice president and head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman” who denied allegations about TikTok. Although this is not the first threat of the app being eradicated, some wonder if TikTok’s time is almost over. Carr wrote that TikTok does not only view the videos posted to the app, but also “collects search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers, draft messages, and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard.”

But, some wonder if the concern for TikTok should be directed to other apps as well. According to the New York Times, “Among many possible target audiences, Facebook offers advertisers 1.5 million people “whose activity on Facebook suggests that they’re more likely to engage with/distribute liberal political content” and nearly seven million Facebook users who “prefer high-value goods in Mexico.” Some wonder why FCC wouldn’t be concerned about this. Either way, some content creators fear that their popularity on TikTok might be coming to an end.


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