FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has expressed his distrust of TikTok when it comes to the app,maintaining its users’ information.
It is also being speculated that the US data is being transferred to China and in his letter, Carr said that both Apple and Google parent company Alphabet should remove TikTok from the app stores or else send him a letter by July 8 explaining themselves.
A TikTok spokesperson did not offer a statement regarding Carr’s letter, but instead said “We will gladly engage with lawmakers to set the record straight regarding BuzzFeed’s misleading reporting.” A spokesperson had previously told Gizmodo “We aim to remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data.”
The commissioner stats that he doesn’t have high expectations that either company will censor the hugely popular TikTok app on their platforms because of the “deep relationships in supply chain ties that Apple and Google have into China.” Still, he hopes the companies will look at the issue “neutrally through the application of their policies.”
The FCC commissioner also brought up the example from 2020 reports that TikTok got access to its persistent user data by circumventing Google’s safeguards and was gobbling up passwords and personal messages from iOS devices. TikTok agreed to pay $92 million in 2021 for collecting massive amounts of private information and user data and sending it to Chinese servers.
One employee reportedly stated that, effectively, “everything is seen in China.” Another employee apparently told a colleague “I get my instructions from the main office in Beijing.” This is despite the company previously assuring congressional lawmakers that the U.S. offices get the final say on what happens to Americans’ data. Almost as if it was anticipating the news of that original June 17 Buzzfeed report, TikTok announced it had completed moving its American user data to U.S.-based servers that same day.