A U.S. Federal Communications Commission leader revealed that he had asked tech giants Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores in connection to China-related data concerns.
ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns the popular video app, and it has faced U.S. scrutiny during Pres. Donald Trump’s administration.
On Twitter, Brendan Carr, an FCC commissioner, shared a letter addressed to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, and Sundar Pichai, Alphabet’s CEO. The letter mentioned reports and other findings indicating that TikTok was non-compliant with the two tech giants’ app store policies.
“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or meme. That’s the sheep’s clothing,” Carr wrote in the letter. “At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”
According to Carr’s letter, which was dated on June 24, Apple must provide statements addressed to him by July 8 should Apple and Alphabet do not delist TikTok from their app stores.
The said statements must explain “the basis for your company’s conclusion that the surreptitious access of private and sensitive U.S. user data by persons located in Beijing, coupled with TikTok’s pattern of misleading representations and conduct, does not run afoul of any of your app store policies,” he said.