FTC: $AAPL & $GOOGL Should Kick Out Tik Tok

Fortune headline: Apple and Google should kick TikTok out of their app stores, FCC commissioner argues
June 29, 2022 7:03 AM EDT


Brendan Carr’s appeal to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai followed a Buzzfeed News report last week that—based on over a dozen leaked recordings from internal TikTok meetings—showed the Chinese firm had “repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about U.S. TikTok users.”

The report also indicated that TikTok’s U.S. employees “had to turn to their colleagues in China to determine how U.S. user data was flowing,” even though TikTok—whose app has huge traction among American youth—had promised the Senate that a U.S.-based security team had those controls.

“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface,” Carr wrote to Cook and Pichai. "It is not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That’s the sheep’s clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

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In his letter, Carr expressed outrage that TikTok collects “everything from search and browsing histories to keystroke patterns and biometric identifiers, including faceprints…and voiceprints. It collects location data as well as draft messages and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard.”

“The list of personal and sensitive data it collects goes on from there,” Carr wrote. “This should come as no surprise, however. Within its own borders, [China] has developed some of the most invasive and omnipresent surveillance capabilities in the world to maintain authoritarian control.”

The commissioner went on to note that there are bipartisan concerns about TikTok in the U.S. Carr said TikTok’s “pattern of surreptitious data practices” breaks app store rules, which should result in the app’s expulsion.

So, my thought here, is if Tik Tok gets kicked out of the app stores, the big corporate loser in the USA sounds like $ORCL:

The senators appeared unimpressed with TikTok’s migration of U.S. user data to Oracle servers in the U.S. So too was FCC Commissioner Carr, who wrote in his letter to Apple and Google that the move provides “no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing.”