FCC commissioner calls TikTok ban over data issue

(The Hill) – One of the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) called on Congress to ban TikTok over concerns that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government.

“I don’t believe there’s a way forward for anything other than a ban,” said FCC commissioner Brendan Carr in an interview with Axios published Tuesday.

“There’s no world where you can provide enough protection on data that you can have enough confidence that it won’t find its way back into the hands of [Chinese Communist Party],” Carr wrote.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is based in China. Carr, who was appointed by former President Trump, write a letter to Apple and Google earlier this year asking the tech giants to remove TikTok from their app stores due to concerns about data harvesting.

TikTok has tens of millions of users in the US, with its popularity growing as other social media platforms struggle to maintain strong growth.

TikTok has been negotiating with the Council on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) in an attempt to separate itself from ByteDance into its own entity, according to Axios.

Skepticism about the app’s relationship with the Chinese government has grown since the Trump administration’s failed attempt to implement a ban on the social media platform in 2020.

A group of Senate Republicans write a letter to Treasury Secretary Janey Yellen earlier this year expressed concern about TikTok, saying the Biden administration failed to take the social media platform’s national security threats seriously.

The Hill has reached out to TikTok about Carr’s remarks.

In a statement to Axios, a TikTok spokesperson said the FCC commissioner had no role in the current discussions between the company and the US government.

“We believe we are on track to reach an agreement with the US Government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

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