It appears that trouble is not over for TikTok in the United States. A Democrat of Colorado and member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Micheal Bennet has written to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai to remove TikTok from their app stores over national security concerns.
This is not the first time, a US legislator has gone after the Chinese video-sharing app owned by ByteDance. The previous Trump administration took bold steps to ban the video sharing app in the US. In 2020, former President Trump passed executive orders to ban the new downloads of the app in the country over allegations that ByteDance shared U.S. users’ data with the Chinese government. The company was also ordered to sell its U.S. operations to an American company.
Although the company got a stay on the ban and Current President Biden revoked the appeals to ban the app, in 2022, U.S. FC Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote to Apple and Google to remove the app for harvesting data from U.S. citizens based on a BuzzFeed report.
Senator cites BuzzFeed report call for a ban on TikTok
Bennet has written to Apple and Google seeking a ban on TikTok based on the findings of the same report used by Carr. He argued that 61% of young Americans between 12 to 34 use the Chinese video-sharing app for 80 minutes per day on average and the app collects their data including faceprints and voiceprints.
“TikTok’s vast influence and aggressive data collection pose a specific threat to US national security because of its parent company’s obligations under Chinese law. Article 7 of China’s National Intelligence Law decrees that ‘any organization or citizen shall support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work.’ Article 14 provides Chinese state security agencies the authority to demand cooperation from companies like ByteDance, while Articles 16 and 17 allow intelligence agents to access relevant materials and files and make use of its communication tools and facilities.”
He expressed concern that the data might be shared with the Chinese government which poses unacceptable threats to the national security of the country.
Concern about TIkTok’s data sharing is not theoretical. In November 2022, TikTok confirmed that China-based employeess could gain remote access to European user data. Last year, BuzzFeed News revealed that China-based employees repeatedly accessess nonpublic information about U.S. users, contradicting sworn testimony from a TikTok executive to the U.S Senate. “Everything is seen in China.”
No compmany subject to CCP distates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population. Given these risks, I urge you to remove TikTok from your respective app stores immeditately.