FCC wants TikTok to be removed from Apple and Google apps stores

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A FCC open letter was addressed on June 24 to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai via Twitter under the signature of the FCC’s commissioner Brendan Carr, saying that TikTok is non-compliant with the two companies’ app store policies. They were asked to remove it. The video app is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. “TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or meme. That’s the sheep’s clothing,” the letter said. “At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

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Engineers in China had access to U.S. data between September 2021 and January 2022. A statement from a TikTok spokesperson in that matter previously said: “We know we’re among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data. That’s why we hire experts in their fields, continually work to validate our security standards, and bring in reputable, independent third parties to test our defenses.” However one member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety department reportedly said during a meeting in September 2021 that “everything is seen in China.” Now, Apple and Google were given term until July 8th to explain why they aren’t removing the app from their stores. TikRok has more than 1 billion active users worldwide.