FCC commissioner calls for TikTok ban over data concerns
(The Hill) – One of the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is calling on Congress to ban TikTok over concerns that user data could end up in the hands of China’s government.
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” FCC commissioner Brendan Carr said in an interview with Axios published Tuesday.
“There simply isn’t a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party],” Carr wrote.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is based in China. Carr, who was appointed by former President Trump, wrote a letter to Apple and Google earlier this year asking the tech giants to remove TikTok from their app stores due to concerns about data harvesting.
TikTok has tens of millions of users in the U.S., with its popularity spiking as other social media platforms struggle to maintain strong growth.
TikTok has been in negotiations with the Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S (CFIUS) in an effort to divest itself from ByteDance to become its own entity, according to Axios.
Skepticism over the app’s ties to the Chinese government has mounted since the Trump administration’s failed attempt to implement a ban on the social media platform in 2020.
A group of Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janey Yellen earlier this year voicing their concern about TikTok, saying that the Biden administration was failing to take the social media platform’s national security threat seriously.
The Hill has reached out to TikTok about Carr’s remarks.
In a statement to Axios, a TikTok spokesperson said the FCC commissioner has no role in current discussions between the company and the U.S. government.
“We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the U.S. Government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.
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