TikTok may be out of India, but the service has not stopped growing. In the U.S., one of platform’s biggest markets, the service is facing a lot of heat off late. The pressure began when then-President Donald Trump sought to ban the app in the U.S. or force a merger with a U.S. company.
The Trump administration expressed national security concerns over the viral social media app due to its Chinese ownership. TikTok consistently denied these claims stating the company does not share any data with China.
The concerns raised by Trump’s team are once again back in the open. This time, Brendan Carr, Commissioner at Federal Communications Commission has asked Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores.
“TikTok is not just another video app. That’s the sheep’s clothing. It harvests swaths of sensitive data that new reports show is being accessed in Beijing,” Carr tweeted.
He added that the app collects information on “search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers, draft messages and metadata”.
Separately, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chair and top Republican have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate social media app TikTok and Chinese parent ByteDance due to "repeated misrepresentations" over its handling of U.S. data.
In a separate statement, TikTok has said it is currently undertaking a major initiative intended to “fully safeguard user data and U.S. national security interests.” The company said it’s now storing all U.S. data by default in Oracle’s cloud, reiterating comments made in a recent blog post.
“Our solution with Oracle will ensure that training of the TikTok algorithm only occurs in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and will also ensure appropriate third-party security vetting and validation of the algorithm,” TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote in the memo, according to a report by CNBC.
The renewed concerns over TikTok in the U.S. do not look like it will end any time soon.