An FCC commissioner who previously urged Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores has called on the US government to ban the video sharing app.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, the senior Republican on the commission, told Axios that a full ban on TikTok was the only way to protect Americans against the prospect of China covertly accessing the private information of millions of US TikTok users.
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” Carr said.
He added that he didn’t see any other viable solutions.
“[There isn’t] a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party],” he said.
In June, Carr made headlines when he said that TikTok should no longer 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, 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."
The FCC does not have the power to regulate TikTok. But the commissioner pointed out that the Council on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), an agency committee that makes decisions on foreign investments in the US, could undertake to ban the platform.
TikTok is currently in discussion with the CFIUS on whether divesting itself from ByteDance would alleviate security concerns and enable the video sharing app to continue to operate in the US, the New York Post reported.