WASHINGTON D.C., DC — In a letter sent Thursday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) called on tech giants Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores immediately, saying the app is "an unacceptable threat" to U.S. national security.
Bennet addressed the letter to the CEOs of both companies. In it, he wrote that TikTok collects "vast and sophisticated" data from its users but said unlike other social media platforms, it poses a "unique" concern due to Chinese law.
According to his letter, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok is required under Chinese law to "support, assist and cooperate with state intelligence work."
“Beijing’s requirement raises the obvious risk that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could weaponize TikTok against the United States, specifically, by forcing ByteDance to surrender Americans’ sensitive data or manipulate the content Americans receive to advance China’s interests,” continued Bennet in the letter. “No company subject to CCP dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population.”
Bennet's letter comes one week after Colorado Congressman Ken Buck (R) debuted legislation to ban TikTok nationwide. He introduced the No TikTok on the United States Devices Act with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri). Buck said using TikTok allows the Chinese Communist Party to "gain an alarming level of access to users' phones."
Last summer an FCC commissioner called for the same ban. It wouldn't strip the app from phones that have it, but users would not be able to get any updates, bugs or fixes. As users replace or upgrade their devices, they would not be able to download the app to their new ones.
Congress banned the app from all federal government devices last year. At least 27 state governments have done the same, according to Bennet's letter.
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