(The Hill) — A member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores over concerns about data harvesting.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, who was appointed by former President Trump, said the app poses national security threats, adding to the growing backlash from Republicans after BuzzFeed reported earlier this month that employees of TikTok’s parent company in China have access to private data on U.S. users.
In letters to Apple and Google, shared by Carr on Tuesday, he said TikTok’s “pattern of conduct and misrepresentation regarding the unfettered access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data” puts the app “out of compliance” with the companies’ app store policies.
“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,” he wrote.
Spokespeople for Apple, Google and TikTok did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
After BuzzFeed’s report was published, TikTok announced it had moved data on users located in the U.S. to Oracle’s cloud platform. Backups of U.S. user data will be stored in TikTok’s servers in Virginia and Singapore before being deleted as data is switched to Oracle’s platform.
Carr said TikTok’s announcement that it was moving U.S. user data to Oracle servers doesn’t address the concerns raised in his letter, since the company has “long claimed” its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S. “and yet those representations provided no protection against data being accessed from Beijing.”
Earlier this week a group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Biden administration over national security concerns they said are raised by TikTok. The GOP senators said the administration is failing to address those concerns.