Brendan Carr, a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, wrote to Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, and Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, asking them to ban the well-known app Tik Tok.
After Buzzfeed News reported on June 17 that they had received the audio from 80 internal Tik Tok sessions, there was a sense of urgency. In these meetings, nine Tik Tok workers made 14 statements in which they claimed to have discovered Chinese employees of Tik Tok's parent firm, Beijing-based ByteDance, having access to customer data from the United States.
Carr stated in the letter itself that "everything is seen in China," even though TikTok has frequently claimed that the data it collects about Americans is stored in the United States.
He posted the following on Twitter: "TikTok is more than a simple video app. That is sheep's clothes, though."
Tik Tok has already been the subject of criticism. Donald Trump had previously expressed his worries about security precautions and his wish to outlaw the app in 2020.
On the same day that the Buzzfeed article was released, Tik Tok declared that it would be transferring all of its customers' personal information to Oracle Cloud servers located in the United States. According to the release, "Along with this work, we are also implementing operational changes. One such change is the new department we just created, led by US-based executives, to handle just the management of TikTok user data from Americans. Together, these adjustments will strengthen employee protections, introduce extra safeguards, and significantly reduce data transfer outside of the United States."
In response to the Buzzfeed report, Tik Tok referred to it as "misleading." A corporate spokeswoman stated, "TikTok, like many multinational corporations, employs engineering teams all over the world. To protect user data, we use access restrictions including encryption and security monitoring, and our security staff in the United States manages the access approval process. TikTok has consistently affirmed that under these stringent limitations, our engineers based in countries outside of the U.S., such as China, may be given access to U.S. user data as needed."
The CEOs of Apple and Google have not yet released a statement in response to Carr's request.
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