Democratic Lawmaker Pushes for Removal of TikTok From App Stores

Democrat Lawmaker Calls for TikTok App Store Ban

( – TikTok is under the spotlight in Washington D.C. again, this time from a Democrat Senator. In a letter dated February 2, 2023, United States Senator Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, asks Google and Apple CEOs to ban TikTok from their app stores. Citing the collection of data, including voiceprints and faceprints, as well as alleged efforts of the company to disseminate news to Americans that is often tailored to be critical of the United States government and its policies towards China, Bennet joins other lawmakers in labeling TikTok as a national security threat.

Bennet wrote in his letter to the two CEOs that given the “grave and growing concerns,” he requested that they take the app off the their stores right away. This request came after Congress included a provision from Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley to ban TikTok from all federally-owned government devices in the 2023 government funding bill that was passed in December of last year. The only exceptions to the provision are for national security and research purposes.

Actions against TikTok have increased from both sides of the aisle since former President Trump called for it to be sold to a United States company in 2020. Increased momentum comes as FBI Director Christopher Wray testified in November 2022 during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing that Chinese officials are able to “manipulate content” and use it for their own purposes.

TikTok has repeatedly denied claims by lawmakers that they are controlled by or share information with the CCP or its parent company, ByteDance. A heated exchange took place between Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas and TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, during a Communications Subcommittee hearing back in October of 2021. The CEO of TikTok will testify before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on March 23, 2023.

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