U.S Senator Demands Apple and Google to Remove TikTok from their App Stores

Today, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet sent a letter to the heads of Apple and Google requesting that they remove TikTok, which China controls, from their app stores for national security reasons (via The New York Times).

U.S Senator Demands Apple and Google to Remove TikTok from their App Stores

No firm subject to “Chinese Communist Party directives should have the capacity to amass such comprehensive data on the American people or curate information to roughly a third of our population,” wrote Colorado Democrat Bennet in a letter to Apple’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai.

Because of TikTok’s parent company’s obligations under Chinese law, “TikTok’s immense impact and relentless data collecting pose a specific threat to U.S. national security,” according to Bennet. “Any organization or citizen must support, help, and collaborate with state intelligence activity, according to Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law. Chinese national security agents can request assistance from businesses like ByteDance under Article 14. In addition, Articles 16 and 17 permit intelligence agents to use the organization’s communication resources and facilities and examine pertinent documents and files.”

The data of American users may have been accessed by TikTok developers in China between September 2021 and January 2022, according to a story by BuzzFeed News from June of last year, which Bennet quotes. In recordings heard by BuzzFeed, a TikTok employee said that “everything is seen in China.” The tapes also mentioned a Chinese “Master Admin” engineer who “has access to everything.”

“Given these serious and expanding concerns, I request that you immediately remove TikTok from your separate app stores,” Bennet writes in the letter’s conclusion.

U.S Senator Demands Apple and Google to Remove TikTok from their App Stores

Since the Trump administration failed to ban the app from U.S. app stores in September 2020, TikTok has been a target of American regulators. However, worries about the app have grown recently due to calls from Republicans and Democrats for authorities to impose stronger data-collecting limitations or to outright ban the app from the United States.

For its part, the parent firm of TikTok, ByteDance, presented a plan in August outlining how it intended to keep the Chinese government from gaining access to information on American users and how it intended to give the American government control over the site. The Biden administration still needs to comment on the business’s strategy.

In the interim, at least 27 state governments have completely or partially banned the app. On the other hand, a bipartisan bill that was proposed in Congress in December would outlaw the app for all Americans. This month, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will put the bill to a vote.

You can read the entire letter from Senator Bennet to Apple and Google on Scribd.

Related Stories

Leave a Reply