The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has requested Google and Apple to delete Chinese video-sharing app, TikTok, from their app store, over risk to national security.
TikTok and the United State have been in a long feud dating back to Donald Trump’s tenure as the U.S President. The government had previously banned the app on September 2020.
According to the FCC Commissioner, Brendan Carr, TikTok poses an unacceptable risk to security because its parent company, ByteDance, is beholden to the Communist Party of China.
Carr said Chinese law requires ByteDance, domiciled in the Asian nation, to comply with PRC’s surveillance demands, which gives the Chinese government unsupervised access to data of individuals using TikTok outside China.
Ripples Nigeria understands that TikTok doesn’t operate in China, instead offering Chinese citizens Douyin, which is similar to the video-sharing app, while the latter is inaccessible beyond the Asian country.
TikTok has constantly denied data sharing with the Chinese government, stating it operates outside the regulation of Chinese authorities, but the U.S government has held to its sentiment.
Writing to Google and Apple, in a letter dated June 24, 2022, the FCC commissioner said both app store are known to portray themselves as a safe place for data of app users, hence, their need to delete TikTok.
“As you know TikTok is an app that is available to millions of Americans through your app stores, and it collects vast troves of sensitive data about those US users. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance — an organization that is beholden to the Communist Party of China and required by the Chinese law to comply with PRC’s surveillance demands.
“It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.
“I am writing the two of you because Apple and Google hold themselves out as operating app stores that are safe and trusted places to discover and download apps. Nonetheless, Apple and Google have reviewed and approved the TikTok app for inclusion in your respective app stores. Indeed, statistics show that TikTok has been downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store nearly 19 million times in the first quarter of this year alone.
“It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that data. Therefore, I am requesting that you apply the plain text of your app store policies to TikTok and remove it from your app stores for failure to abide by those terms.” Carr wrote.
Note that the U.S government had initially offered TikTok parent company to sell their operations in America to an American investor or get banned.
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