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Google & Apple To Remove TiKtoK

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A federal official issued a new warning to Apple and Google, urging the tech giants to remove China-based app TikTok from their app stores. In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr cited a new report from Buzzfeed News about the “serious national security threats posed by TikTok.”

The report, which analyzed leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings, found nonpublic data about U.S. TikTok users had been accessed by employees of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance. In 2021, TikTok executive Michael Beckerman testified before Congress that “TikTok actually collects less data than many of our peers.”

However, the BuzzFeed report found ByteDance employees in Beijing have repeatedly accessed sensitive data that TikTok has collected from Americans who download the app, which allows users to create, share and react to short videos.

“Everything is seen in China,” a member of TikTok’s Trust and Safety department said in a September meeting, according to BuzzFeed.

Carr cannot force either Apple or Google to remove the free app from their stores, but said “Apple and Google hold themselves out as operating app stores that are safe and trusted places to download apps.” Statistics show the app has been download from these two app stores 19 million times in the first quarter of 2022 alone, Carr said.

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