Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is asking executives at Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.
His request came in letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday. Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said his concerns were based on the fact that TikTok is owned ByteDance, which is based in China. TikTok is a video-sharing and social media platform
“Like most social media platforms, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including faceprints and voiceprints,” Bennet said in the letter. “Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok poses a unique concern because Chinese law obligates ByteDance, its Beijing-based parent company, to ‘support, assist, and cooperate with state intelligence work.’
“Beijing’s requirement raises the obvious risk that the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] could weaponize TikTok against the United States, specifically, by forcing ByteDance to surrender Americans’ sensitive data or manipulate the content Americans receive to advance China’s interests. No company subject to CCP dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population.”
And he added: “Last year, Congress recognized the unacceptable security risks from TikTok and banned it from all federal government devices. At least 27 state governments have also passed full or partial bans on the app. Given these grave and growing concerns, I ask that you remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., introduced legislation in their respective chambers last week to ban downloading TikTok on all U.S. devices.
That move followed allegations of Chinese Communist Party connections to ByteDance, which has consistently denied any backdoor dealings with the Chinese government.
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