tiktok has acknowledged that it stores data from its customers in the United States.
Since it began to gain popularity during the pandemic, the United States government has been quick to criticize the application known as TikTok, even though its fans adore it. The Federal Communications Commission has just released its newest smash single. The FCC commissioner who is concerned that the social app TikTok poses a “national security threat” wrote a letter to both apple and google requesting that they remove TikTok from their platforms.
The FCC's TikTok Complaint
ByteDance, a Chinese business, is the one responsible for the development of TikTok. The Beijing-based corporation has come clean about the fact that it has been storing information that belongs to consumers in the United States.
A letter that FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr had written to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai was shared on twitter by Carr after he had submitted it to them. Carr expressed his concern in the letter over “an unsettling new report [that] sheds additional light on the potential vulnerabilities to national security presented by TikTok.”
Carr went on to clarify further about TikTok in his tweet, stating that “TikTok is not what it looks to be on the surface.” This is not merely an app for sharing humorous videos or memes with your friends. This is the wolf dressed in sheep's attire. TikTok is essentially an advanced surveillance tool that collects vast quantities of private and sensitive information. This is its primary purpose.
After that, he continued by saying that he had requested that the two tech companies delete the TikTok app from their respective app stores “because of its history of covert data practices.” In the letter that Carr sent to the CEOs of tech companies, he expressed his displeasure with the fact that TikTok “collects massive troves” of information from its customers in the United States.
Carr continued by stating that ByteDance is “an organization that is indebted to the Communist Party of China and is compelled by Chinese law to cooperate with the PRC's monitoring demands.”
ByteDance officials have frequently accessed sensitive TikTok data obtained from users in the United States who have downloaded the app, according to recordings that were leaked the week before last. Even though TikTok has stated that all data about American users is stored in the United States, a TikTok official stated that “Everything is seen in China” in the recordings.
According to Carr, the TikTok app has been downloaded “almost 19 million times in the first quarter of this year alone” from the Program Store and the Google play store. That's a lot of data that has been stored, considering that the app was downloaded “alone” from those two stores.
Because so many users are completely enamored with TikTok, it is impossible to predict how effective a ban would be.
The Never-Ending Struggle with TikTok
TikTok was released in the United States in 2017, but its popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic when individuals were confined to their homes and looked for ways to interact with others and pass the time. Especially in demand were the dancing videos that let children and their parents put their own spin on the routines, as this type of content was appealing to both generations.
During the height of its popularity, the previous president of the United States began to voice his opposition to it. The administration believed that China was using it as a method to get their hands on sensitive information on users in the United States, and they viewed it as a threat to national security.
ByteDance will be required to unload their U.S. operations of TikTok as a result of an executive order that was issued by the president. It was going to be purchased by a group of buyers that included Oracle and Walmart, but ByteDance filed a legal challenge to prevent the acquisition from going through.
As soon as President Joe Biden assumed office, he revoked the previous presidential order, doing so with the knowledge that his administration was investigating apps that were managed by China.
Michael Beckerman, the CEO of TikTok, along with senior executives from YouTube parent company Google/Alphabet and Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, testified before the Senate in the fall of 2018. The Children and Teens Online Privacy Protection Act was the focus of these questions as it relates to supporting the act. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, mobile apps would be required to obtain the approval of users 13 to 15 years old before saving any information about those users.
During the hearing, Beckerman made the remark that although TikTok “loved” the intention behind the proposed regulation, the company nevertheless wished for improvements to be made regarding age verification on the Internet.
When you combine the teen data issue with TikTok's admission that it collects data from users in the United States, it explains why Carr wants Apple and Google to ban the Tik Tok app from their platforms.