A commissioner for the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has resumed debate over whether TikTok should be carried by Google and Apple, citing national security concerns revolving around its Chinese parents company ByteDance.
Writing to the CEOs of Google and Apple in a June 24 letter, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called ByteDance “beholden” to the Chinese government. He added that the corporation was "required by law to comply with [Chinese government] surveillance demands,” according to CNN.
Referring to a BuzzFeed report that ByteDance's Chinese employees had accessed American TikTok user’s data multiple times, Carr charged that TikTok is "out of compliance with the policies that both of your companies require every app to adhere to."
U.S. officials have been warning about the potential for privacy breaches with TikTok for years, relaying concerns about the possibility of the Chinese government accessing user data being a national security risk.
But the FCC does not have jurisdiction to regulate app stores. Previous attempts by the U.S. government to block TikTok from app stores have been stopped by court rulings.
"TikTok has long claimed that its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S. and yet those representations provided no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing," Carr’s letter said. "Indeed, TikTok's statement that '100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle' says nothing about where that data can be accessed from."