Michael Bennett joined the plethora of US politicians calling for a complete ban on TikTok in this country in a letter to Apple and Google.
TikTok is still under the scrutiny of the US authorities and it seems that these questions will not stop until a momentous decision is made regarding the distribution of the app in said territory. Now, Michael Bennet , a Democratic senator from Colorado and a member of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, has sent a letter to Apple and Google requesting the removal of the application from both the App Store and the Play Store .
In this document addressed to Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai , CEOs of Apple and Google respectively, the politician states that ” TikTok , in its current form, is an unacceptable threat to the national security of the United States . ” Bennet’s letter repeats many of the arguments that other US lawmakers have made in the past to try to ban the app.
The United States continues to attack TikTok
Specifically, what Bennett is raising is the possibility that ByteDance , the parent company of TikTok , may be forced to “use its influence to further the interests of the Chinese government” through its app. “Like most social media platforms, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including facial and voice prints. Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok raises a unique concern because the law China obliges ByteDance, its Beijing-based parent company, to ‘support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work’ , says the politician.
ByteDance has repeatedly denied that such situations could occur and has attempted to downplay its ties to China. “Unfortunately, Senator Bennet ‘s letter is based almost exclusively on misleading information about TikTok , the data we collect, and our data security controls. It also ignores the considerable investment we have made through The Texas Project – a plan negotiated with major our country’s national security experts – to provide additional assurances to our community about the security of their data and the integrity of the TikTok platform ,” Brooke Oberwetter , a spokeswoman for the platform, said in a statement.
Could TikTok be removed from the App Store and Play Store?
While Apple and Google did not immediately respond to this letter, it is highly unlikely that a ban and removal from iOS and Android digital stores will ever happen. However, the fact that a document like this exists demonstrates the tense relationship between the US authorities and TikTok , despite the fact that ByteDance has spent a lot of time negotiating the last two with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to guarantee their ability to continue operating in the country.
However, this last action is stalled and the company has decided not to undertake a similar process again to avoid criticism against it. Separately , TikTok has shared more details about its partnership with Oracle to protect US user data and meet concerns from US regulators.
However, it seems that US lawmakers have no plans to let TikTok off the hook so quickly. The app has already been banned on federal devices, and several states have passed bans of their own. Shou Zi Chew , the platform’s CEO, is scheduled to testify at his first appearance before Congress next month.