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Senator calls for Apple and Google to ban TikTok from app stores

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  • Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, calls on Apple and Google to ban TikTok from their app stores due to national security concerns.
  • Bennet writes a letter to the CEO's of Apple and Google, citing China's National Intelligence Law and how it allows Chinese state security agencies to demand cooperation from companies like TikTok's parent company ByteDance.
  • Bennet also mentions the possibility of TikTok being used to advance Chinese government interests and undermine US democratic institutions, and mentions a report suggesting that TikTok engineers in China had access to US users' data.



A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, has called on Apple and Google to ban TikTok from their app stores due to national security concerns. Bennet, who is a Democrat and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote a letter to the CEO's of Apple and Google, Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, respectively, expressing that no company under "Chinese Communist Party dictates" should have access to the vast amounts of personal data of Americans or curate content for nearly a third of the US population.

In his letter, Bennet cites China's National Intelligence Law and explains how Articles 7, 14, 16, and 17 allow Chinese state security agencies to demand cooperation from companies like TikTok's parent company ByteDance. The senator also references a BuzzFeed News report from June 2022 which suggests that TikTok engineers in China had access to the data of US users between September 2021 and January 2022. Image credit: Today FM Beyond data leaks, Bennet also sees the possibility of TikTok being used to advance Chinese government interests and undermine US democratic institutions. The senator notes the real possibility of the Chinese government compelling TikTok to tweak its algorithm to present American users with content that is critical of US democratic institutions or muffle criticisms of China's handling of Hong Kong, Taiwan, or ethnic minorities.

This is not the first time that Apple and Google have been asked to ban TikTok from their app stores. Last year, the FCC commissioner also made a similar request. However, the tech giants did not respond to the request for comment and are unlikely to. Bennet says that the decision to ban TikTok from the app stores is properly a matter for the US government. Image credit: WalkTheChat TikTok has been in the crosshairs of US regulators for years now, with concerns over the app heightening in recent weeks after both Republicans and Democrats called for stricter data collection restrictions or a ban on the app from US app stores. The short-form video app has been banned from federal government devices, as well as in more than half of US states, due to cybersecurity concerns and fears about US citizens' personal data ending up in the hands of the Chinese government.

Bennet's letter concludes by asking that TikTok be removed from the app stores immediately due to the growing and grave concerns over national security.

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