FCC Crisis: TikTok May No Longer Be Available

TikTok is an "unacceptable security risk" and should be removed from app stores, says FCC

by contentwriter
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Author: David Moore

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is pleading with Google and Apple to delete TikTok from their app stores due to security concerns. 

He tweeted on Wednesday that the app crops swaths of information to China. Carr termed the app an intolerable security danger for the United States. He further cited a BuzzFeed News article demonstrating how private TikTok user data has been frequently accessed in China. 

Carr continued by saying that the software did not adhere to the rules outlined in the app shops run by each company. Moreover, he asked Google and Apple to comment on the situation by July 8.

TikTok, Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and Apple have all been contacted by HuffPost for comment. TikTok referred to the BuzzFeed News allegation as misleading in a statement to CNN. 

According to TikTok, they have engineered teams around the globe like many multinational corporations. TikTok uses access restrictions like encryption and security management to protect user information. Moreover, their security staff in the United States manages the access authorization.

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Excessive data collection

TikTok allegedly gathers everything, including browsing and search history. Keystroke trends and biometric identifiers. These may be used in unrelated face recognition technology, location information, draft messages, and metadata. 

It also includes information saved on the clipboard, such as text, images, and videos.

Carr mentioned several instances to prove TikTok had used questionable data harvesting tactics.

Unclear use of collected data

For apps that are transparent about their data collection practices, there is no problem with doing so. However, these apps must also disclose how they use the data they gather. 

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It seems like TikTok does not fall under the category of applications that do not uphold this rule.

The letter states that many clauses of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store regulations are pertinent to TikTok’s secretive data practices. This pattern runs counter to its repeated claims.

Data Harvesting isn’t new.

According to cybersecurity experts, Craig Petronella, Apple, Microsoft, and Google all have a ton of information on us. Everyone has lots of data points available. 

Your whole movement pattern and every sensor on your phone is being recorded. 

Carr worries that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is collecting data at the behest of the Chinese government.

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He asserts that ByteDance is compelled by Chinese law to abide by the surveillance requirements of that nation. According to ByteDance, “We implement access restrictions like encryption and security management to secure user information.” BuzzFeed claims are “misleading,” the company says.

What will happen if TikTok is no longer available?

Security experts warn that it could result in more serious issues. There is a chance of compromise because vulnerabilities will be found, used, and publicized online. President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting TikTok and its companion app. WeChat back in 2020.

President Biden later revoked the executive orders, but the problem didn’t go away. The Commerce Department was instructed to investigate TikTok by President Biden last year. The Department claims that the investigation is still ongoing.

Final Verdict

In a statement made earlier this month, TikTok stated that it would transfer American user information from servers located in Singapore and Virginia to Oracle’s cloud platform. In light of the data migration to Oracle, it is uncertain when the servers will be removed.

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