TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world right now, allowing users to make a variety of small video clips with effects to post to a wide social audience. However, the app is also Chinese-owned and developed and has come into legal conflict with authorities abroad, especially in the United States. This ongoing issue has seemingly pushed the US Federal Communications Commission to chime in on the matter, with a commissioner of the organization demanding Apple and Google remove the app from its platforms.
The demand comes from FCC commissioner Brendon Carr, who shared his letter to Apple and Google publicly via his personal Twitter on June 28, 2022. In said letter, Carr suggests that TikTok poses “serious national security threats” as it “collects vast troves of sensitive data about… US users.” Carr calls out TikTok owner and operator ByteDance, which is “beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by Chinese law to comply with the PRC’s surveillance demands.” Carr has called for Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, and if they don’t, then statements on why should be provided by July 8, 2022.
This is far from the first time US authorities have come into conflict with TikTok. During his presidency, Donald Trump also put a target on TikTok, calling for its ban in the United States. Instead, ByteDance opted to seek partners for its North American business, ultimately settling on tech company Oracle as a “trusted technology partner”. As Trump exited the white house in 2020, this was the last we heard on government action against TikTok until now.
It remains to be seen where this latest squabble between US authorities and TikTok will go, or if Apple or Google will comply with FCC demands. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this story for further updates.