US Senator asks Google And Apple to ban TikTok

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TikTok’s troubles are not yet over; the company is facing up to another hurdle as Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, a Democrat has asked both Google and Apple to ban the app. Senator Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the two tech giants urging them to kick out TikTok from their respective stores.

In the letter, Senator Bennet said that “TikTok, in its current form, [is] an unacceptable threat to the national security of the United States.” In the letter addressed to both Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, the US Senator representing Colorado, emphasized the same points other US lawmakers had raised in the past about the privacy and security risks TikTok pose to the US and its citizens.

In his letter, Bennet was specific about ByteDance; warning that the Chinse company could be compelled to “use its influence to advance Chinese government interests,” via TikTok.

Like most social media platforms, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including faceprints and voiceprints,” Bennet writes per Engadget. “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.”

TikTok, however, continues to defends its integrity, and had on several occasions, denied any wrongdoings.

Unfortunately, Senator Bennet’s letter relies almost exclusively on misleading reporting about TikTok, the data we collect, and our data security controls,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said in a statement. “It also ignores the considerable investment we have made through Project Texas—a plan negotiated with our country’s top national security experts—to provide additional assurances to our community about their data security and the integrity of the TikTok platform.”

It is unlikely that Google and Apple would act on Bennet’s letter to ban the TikTok. That said, the pressure continues to mount, and the future of the app in the US continues to be cast in doubt.

Amidst its privacy and security issues with the US government, TikTok has temporarily suspended its plans of hiring for US security deal, Reuters reports. The security consultant, would help the company to implement a potential security agreement with the US, two people familiar with the matter said.

TikTok has been making moves to assure Washington of the safety of the data of its citizens; but has not really made much progress in the last couple of months. The Chinese company had always insisted that the personal data of US citizens in its procession cannot be accessed by China or any other entity under the influence of China.

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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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