FCC commissioner pushes Apple and Google to take down TikTok

FCC member asks Google and Apple to remove tik tak from its app stores, citing concerns that a popular Chinese-owned video app could be sending US data back to Beijing.

In a letter to companies released Tuesday, Brendan Carr, the Republican commissioner, said he believes “TikTok’s pattern and misrepresentation of Beijing individuals’ unrestricted access to U.S. user sensitive data” violate Apple and Google standards and should be removed from the app store.

mr. Carr’s request is unlikely to gain support because the FCC does not regulate app stores and the commission’s agenda is largely determined by its Democratic chairman. But it shows the ongoing pressure on Chinese tech companies from officials in Washington.

Politicians have long been concerned that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, could disclose its data to the Chinese government. Former President Donald Trump tried force ByteDance to sell the app in 2020; in Biden administration considered other measures to hide US data from China.

TikTok says it is taking steps to prevent employees in China from accessing their data. Just before a recent news report showed him struggling to do so, he said it redirected all data from its US users through servers controlled by US cloud computing company Oracle.

TikTok and the FCC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In his letter, Mr. Carr said he did not believe this would change anything.

“TikTok has long claimed that its US user data is stored on servers in the US, but these representations do not provide protection against data access from Beijing,” he wrote. “Indeed, TikTok’s claim that “100 percent of user traffic in the US is directed to Oracle” says nothing about where this data can be accessed from.”