Arguing that TikTok threatens national security, a Democratic senator is urging Google and Apple to remove the Chinese-owned social media app from their app marketplaces.
“Like most social media platforms, TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including faceprints and voiceprints,” Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) says in letters sent Thursday to Google and Apple.
“Unlike most social media platforms, TikTok poses a unique concern,” Bennet writes, adding that Chinese law requires the app's Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, to assist with intelligence work.
The lawmaker says the Chinese Communist Party could force ByteDance to disclose Americans' sensitive data, or to “manipulate the content Americans receive to advance China’s interests.”
“These obvious risks render TikTok, in its current form, an unacceptable threat to the national security of the United States,” Bennet says in his letter.
Bennet is among a growing number of officials expressing concerns over how TikTok's parent company handles data collected through the app.
Last year, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Representatives Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois) proposed legislation that aimed to block transactions in the U.S. by social-media apps under the control of China, Russia and several other countries.
Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr also urged Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app marketplaces.
Dozens of states have banned the app from government devices, while state universities in Texas, Georgia and Oklahoma have blocked access on campus WiFi networks.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is expected to address some concerns about the app next month, when he will testify before a Congressional committee.