Brendan Carr, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, said he was concerned that the Chinese-owned app could provide Beijing with access to the data of Americans.
A FCC commissioner has asked Google and Apple to take TikTok out of their app stores because of worries that the widely used video app, which is owned by China, might send data from users in the United States back to Beijing.
Republican commissioner Brendan Carr wrote to the companies on Tuesday, saying that he thought TikTok’s “pattern of conduct and misrepresentations regarding the unrestricted access that persons in Beijing have to sensitive U.S. user data” violated Apple’s and Google’s standards and that TikTok ought to be removed from the app stores.
The F.C.C. does not regulate app stores, and its Democratic chairwoman largely sets the commission’s agenda, so Mr. Carr’s request is unlikely to be granted. However, it demonstrates the constant pressure Washington officials have put on Chinese tech firms.
For a long time, policymakers have been concerned that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok in China, might give the Chinese government access to its data. ByteDance was threatened with removal from app stores in 2020 if he didn’t sell the app, according to the former president Donald J. Trump. At one point, the American cloud computing company Oracle announced a deal in which it would acquire a portion of the business. The sale was never completed.
The Biden administration has thought about other ways to prevent Chinese authorities from accessing American data, but it hasn’t publicly pushed TikTok to sever ties with its Chinese owner.
TikTok has insisted that it is taking precautions to prevent its Chinese employees from having access to its data. It claimed that all data from its American users was being routed through Oracle-controlled servers just before a recent news story revealed that it was having difficulty doing so.
A spokeswoman for TikTok named Brooke Oberwetter said the company was interacting with lawmakers who had inquired about its data practices. A representative for Google, Jose Castaneda, declined to comment. Requests for comment from the F.C.C. and Apple were not returned.
Mr. Carr stated in his letter that he didn’t think TikTok’s efforts would make a difference.
“TikTok has long claimed that its U.S. user data has been stored on servers in the U.S., and yet those representations provided no protection against the data being accessed from Beijing,” he wrote. “Indeed, TikTok’s statement that ‘100 percent of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle’ says nothing about where that data can be accessed from.”