FCC Commissioner Calls for TikTok Ban Over National Security Concerns – Report
The head of the Federal Communications Commission is urging Congress to ban TikTok in the U.S. over national security concerns.
According to a CNN report on Thursday (Nov. 3), FCC commissioner Brendan Carr wants TikTok to discontinue operating in the U.S. due to concerns about data harvesting. Several news stories this year about the popular video-sharing app's handling of U.S. users' data have left Carr with "little confidence there's a path forward," he reportedly told CNN in a phone interview on Tuesday (Nov. 1).
"Perhaps the deal CFIUS (The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) ends up cutting is an amazing, airtight deal, but at this point I have a very, very difficult time looking at TikTok’s conduct thinking we're going to cut a technical construct that they're not going to find a way around," Carr concluded.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, based in China, and has over 1 billion global users with 140.6 million active users in the U.S., according to datareportal.com. CFIUS, a government agency that reviews business deals involving foreign ownership, are in ongoing negotiations with TikTok to remedy national security concerns that the Chinese government is seeking to obtain data information from TikTok users in the U.S.
TikTok announced this year that they have migrated their U.S. user data to servers run by Oracle, but there's still skepticism over China-based employees of TikTok or its parent, ByteDance, still having access to the U.S. data.
A rep for TikTok told CNN that Carr does not know about the discussions they are having with the U.S. about data security with their app.
"Commissioner Carr has no role in or direct knowledge of the confidential discussions with the US government related to TikTok and is not in a position to discuss what those negotiations entail," the spokesperson reportedly told the news outlet. "We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the U.S. government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns."
A ban on TikTok will affect not only users but also the music industry. Several hip-hop artists have seen their rap songs go viral on TikTok first before they became hits on the Billboard charts. A stoppage would put a wrinkle on an artist's marketing and promotions plan.
XXL has reached out to reps at TikTok and FCC commissioner Brendan Carr for comment.