Senator Calls on Apple and Google to Ban TikTok in App Stores

Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado, referred to as on Apple and Google Thursday to take away TikTok from their app shops due to nationwide safety issues, as bipartisan strain on the Chinese-owned firm escalates.

Mr. Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, despatched the chief executives of Apple and Alphabet, Google’s father or mother firm, a letter saying no firm topic to “Chinese Communist Party dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population.”

TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese web firm ByteDance, has confronted questions on its information practices and whether or not it’s transmitting details about Americans collected from its app to the Chinese authorities.

“It’s irresponsible for us to make it available the way we have, and I hope that Apple and Google will take this as an opportunity to lead in this debate,” Mr. Bennet stated in a telephone interview.

His letter to Tim Cook of Apple and Sundar Pichai of Alphabet — the most recent shot in opposition to TikTok in what has turn out to be a nationwide frenzy amongst lawmakers — reveals that Democrats are eagerly becoming a member of a marketing campaign that was largely led by Republicans till not too long ago. Mr. Bennet’s name harks again to the Trump administration’s effort to bar TikTok and WeChat, one other Chinese-owned app, from U.S. app shops in September 2020, a transfer that met authorized resistance and in the end failed.

Lawmakers and regulators have more and more criticized TikTok because it waits for the Biden administration to reply to the corporate’s plan, submitted in August, detailing the way it will stop the Chinese authorities from getting access to information on U.S. customers, and the way it will provide the U.S. authorities oversight of the platform.

Brooke Oberwetter, a spokeswoman for TikTok, stated the letter relied on “misleading reporting about TikTok, the data we collect and our data security controls.” She added that it additionally ignored the corporate’s substantial funding in its plan, generally known as Project Texas, “to provide additional assurances to our community about their data security and the integrity of the TikTok platform.”

Google and Apple didn’t reply to a request for remark.

More than two dozen states, together with a number of led by Democratic governors, have banned TikTok in some style up to now two months. A bipartisan invoice that was launched in Congress in December would ban the app for everybody within the United States. Some faculty campuses and cities have additionally adopted bans.

Lawmakers have expressed concern a couple of Chinese media regulation that enables the federal government to secretly demand information from Chinese corporations and residents and TikTok’s content material advice system.

TikTok has stated its plan will “meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at both the federal and state level.” Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s chief govt, has agreed to seem earlier than a House committee in March.

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