Remove TikTok From AppleStore And Playstore – TikTok is definitely having another looming lawsuit in sight after a renowned American lawyer, Brendan Carr, who currently serves as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission accused the social network of defaulting on its sworn promise of keeping US users’ data in the US.
This is not the first and hopefully not the last call on the US government and stakeholders to ban TikTok from the US or put a strict rule on having its US users’ data served in the US.
According to Mr. Brendan Carr, and the letter he addressed to the Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan, TikTok must be investigated and brought to book for deceiving its US users about data collection and processing.
‘We write in response to public reports that individuals in the People’s Republic of China
(PRC) have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public
representations, including sworn testimony in October 2021.¹
In an interview with the online publication Cyberscoop, the Global Chief Security Officer for TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, made a number of public representations on the data security practices of TikTok,
including unequivocal claims that the data of American users are not accessible to the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) and the government of the PRC.2
As you know, TikTok’s privacy practices are already subject to a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission, based on its improper collection and processing of personal information from children. In light of this new report, we ask that your agency immediately initiate a Section 5 investigation on the basis
of apparent deception by TikTok, and coordinate this work with any national security or
counterintelligence investigation that may be initiated by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Additionally, these recent reports suggest that TikTok has also misrepresented its corporate governance practices, including to Congressional committees such as ours. In October 2021, TikTok’s head of public policy, Michael Beckerman, testified that TikTok has “no affiliation” with another ByteDance subsidiary, Beijing-based ByteDance Technology, of which the CCP owns a partial stake.³
Meanwhile, as recently as March of this year, TikTok officials reiterated to our Committee representations they have previously made that all corporate governance decisions are wholly firewalled from their PRC-based parent, ByteDance. Yet according to a recent report from Buzzfeed News, TikTok’s engineering teams ultimately report to ByteDance leadership in the PRC.
According to this same report, TikTok’s Trust and Safety department was aware of these improper access practices and governance irregularities, which – according to internal recordings of TikTok deliberations – offered PRC-based employees unfettered access to user information, including birthdates, phone numbers, and device identification information.
A series of national security laws imposed by the CCP, including the 2017 National Intelligence Law and the 2014 Counter-Espionage Law provide extensive and extra-judicial access opportunities for CCP-controlled security services. Under these authorities, the CCP may compel access, regardless of where data is ultimately stored.
While TikTok has suggested that migrating to U.S.-based storage from a U.S. cloud service provider alleviates any risk of unauthorized access, these latest revelations raise concerns about the reliability of TikTok representations: since TikTok will ultimately control all access to the cloud-hosted systems, the risk of access to that data by PRC-based engineers (or CCP security services) remains significant in light of the corporate governance irregularities revealed by BuzzFeed News.
Moreover, as the recent report makes clear, the majority of TikTok data – including content posted by users as well as their unique IDs, will remain freely accessible to PRC-based ByteDance employees. In light of repeated misrepresentations by TikTok concerning its data security, data processing, and corporate governance practices, we urge you to act promptly on this matter.” The letter details.
NEW—Bipartisan Senate Intel Cmte leaders are seeking a federal investigation into TikTok:
“We write in response to public reports that individuals in the… PRC have been accessing data on U.S. users, in contravention of several public representations, including sworn testimony.” pic.twitter.com/n9B42VSH55
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) July 6, 2022
The Commissioner also called on other tech giants; Apple and Google to remove tiktok Applestore and Playstore respectively in the letters he share on Twitter.
TikTok is not just another video app.
That’s the sheep’s clothing.
It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show are being accessed in Beijing.
— Brendan Carr (@BrendanCarrFCC) June 28, 2022
Will It Be Possible To Remove TikTok From AppleStore And PlayStore?
On numerous occasions has TikTok been called for a ban in the US but the service is still active in the states. Former US President Donald Trump failed to ban the app because many believe it will be censorship that infringes on people’s freedom of speech. Two federal judges from two courts opposed Trump’s attempt to ban the app in 2020. Perhaps he was not having a tangible case.
Trump’s executive order to ban the app was later rescinded by his successor Joe Biden but the latter has ordered a look into the app’s data collection and processing per sworn testimonies to the US. The Department is still looking into it.
Would the Biden administration be able to ban the app after numerous calls from stakeholders, ministers, and government officials? What will be the dangers of banning the app? will it harm users than help them? These questions are yet to be considered before banning the app.
Meanwhile, there are more than countable benefits of TikTok that the world is enjoying: 13 Important Benefits Of TikTok For Students, Top 10 Pros And Cons Of TikTok For Kids To Consider.