Democratic senator urges Google and Apple to remove TikTok from their app stores

Senator Michael Bennet explained that the Chinese-based platform represents an obvious security risk to the United States.

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the CEOs of Google and Apple (Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook, respectively), asking them to remove TikTok from their app stores because of the serious security risks posed by the Chinese-based platform.

Bennet is the first lawmaker to communicate directly with the companies to urge them to ban the social network from their app marketplaces.

The senator explained that the social network is obliged by Chinese law to cooperate with the Chinese government, which means that the CCP could access Americans' personal data. According to the senator, about 36% of American citizens over the age of 12 use the platform, and a large segment of users spend an average of 80 minutes a day on the app.

"TikTok collects vast and sophisticated data from its users, including faceprints and voiceprints," Michael Bennet explained highlighting whether the social network could share that information with Chinese officials if requested.

"Beijing’s requirement raises the obvious risk that the Chinese Communist Party 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," he said.

Bennet noted that no company that is subject to such requirements from the Chinese regime should be given the power to collect "such extensive" data on U.S. citizens.

"Given these risks, I urge you to remove TikTok from your respective app stores immediately," he wrote.

TikTok ban on government devices

Given the security threat posed by the platform, it was recently decided to ban TikTok on all federal government devices, unless it is being used for national security or law enforcement activities.