The TikTok ban in America looks like it could be back as a possibility. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has requested the app is removed from both Apple and Google’s stores. This comes after the threat was previously ruled out by President Joe Biden. So, what’s changed?
Previously the internet went wild over Donald Trump’s claim to ban TikTok in the US. He believed the app held security data concerns and issued orders which would prevent any US citizen handling transactions through the app. However, this didn’t last long. The people of America weren’t happy with these actions. Many felt they were unnecessary and therefore when Biden came into power, he removed these orders.
Despite Joe Biden still holding the power, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has called for the app to be removed from both Google and Apple stores. Rather than dealing with the matter privately, Carr tweeted an open letter addressing both Google/Alphabet and Apple. He claims “TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface” suggesting the app runs much deeper than our enjoyment factor.
The letter itself comes after a BuzzFeed article claiming US user data has been accessed from China. If this is the case, then the concerns for privacy breaches are valid. It’s been said that TikTok have allowed audio from more than 80 private meetings to be leaked. Carr also believes TikTok presents a serious national security threat. If data is being accessed by people it shouldn’t be, then it’s no surprise officials are worried.
Other claims are TikTok collecting location data, draft messages and metadata from users. Sensitive data should be kept as exactly that. By accepting terms and conditions and downloading these apps, you’re allowing companies to access your personal information. However, this under no circumstances should be used incorrectly. It should never be stored or able to be accessed by the wrong hands. Surely if this is what’s happening to US data, then other countries will soon back out from the app for fear their data is being abused.
Carr has said if both Apple and Google do not remove the app from American stores, they must provide him with a response explaining why. This response is due by 8th July 2022. He wants both stores to explain why China have been able to access private information and why sensitive US user data has been leaked in the first place. It completely goes against both store’s policies, so it will be interesting to see if they respond. Perhaps they’ll simply remove the stores and stay quiet. Although, that will essentially admit they’re at fault.