Google to remove TikTok from app stores, Senator calls on Apple.

Google to remove TikTok from app stores

The push on Capitol Hill to rein in the China-owned social media network TikTok has set its sights on the tech giants Apple and Google.

Mon. Michael Bennet, D-CO, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday calling their companies to remove TikTok from their respective app stores citing concerns about how TikTok handles the data of American users.

"Like most social media networks, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users," said Bennet. "Unlike most social media networks, TikTok has a unique concern."

"TikTok's vast influence and aggressive data collection pose a specific threat to the U.S. national security because of its parent company's obligations under Chinese law," Bennet added.

TikTok, which has more than 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., has faced growing scrutiny from state and federal officials who over fear that American data could fall into the possession of the Chinese government.

In December, Congress prohibited TikTok from all devices owned by the federal government. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March on the company's data security practices, the panel said on Monday.

More than half of the U.S. states have taken steps toward a partial or complete ban of TikTok on government devices.

The Biden administration and TikTok wrote up a preliminary agreement to address the national security concerns posed by the app but obstacles remain in the negotiations, The New York Times reported in September.

TikTok said it stores the data of the U.S. users outside of China, and has never been removed U.S. posts from the platform on the request of the Chinese government.

Google and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

"Unfortunately, Senator Bennet's letter was based almost exclusively on misleading reporting about TikTok, the data we collect, and our data security controls," TikTok told ABC News 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 regarding their data security and the integrity of the TikTok platform," the company added.

“We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with constituents,” the company added.

Recent news stories have called into question the security of data users.

Buzzfeed reported in June that TikTok engineers based in China gained access to intimate information on the US. users, such as telephone numbers. Forbes reported in October that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, intends to use the app to access information for some users.

The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok in 2020, ultimately calling on ByteDance to sell the app to a U.S. company. However, the sale has never taken place.

In his letter on Thursday, Bennet said TikTok poses "an acceptable threat to the national security of the United States."

Bennett addressed Cook and Pichai directly: "Given these serious and growing concerns, I ask that you remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately."

Resources : msn

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