After yet another user data breach in China, the social media app TikTok is once again in the crosshairs of U. S. officials, this time from the FCC.
Earlier this month, BuzzFeed reported that ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, had access to private data information about American TikTok users. Now, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has reached out to executives at Apple and Google to request that the two tech giants remove the TikTok app from their app stores.
In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Carr warns about the national security threat posed by the social media app that is popular with Americans, especially teens and 20-somethings.
"TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface," Carr wrote. "It's not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That's the sheep's clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data."
According to the BuzzFeed report, audio recordings at ByteDance collected between September 2021 and January 2022 revealed that nine employees located in China had openly discussed accessing sensitive American user data, including phone numbers and birthdates.
On one recording from last September, a ByteDance employee in TikTok’s Trust and Safety department says, "Everything is seen in China."
In his letter, Carr claims that ByteDance "is beholden t... (Read more)
Submitted 49 days ago