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FCC Commissioner Keeps Pushing for TikTok Ban in US

The commissioner cites ongoing concerns about what TikTok's parent company does with the vast amounts of data it collects on users.

TikTok logo on a phone screen
Sarah Tew/CNET

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr doesn't "believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban" on TikTok in the US, he told Axios in an interview published Tuesday. 

Carr, a Republican commissioner, said he bases that conclusion on the potential mishandling of personal and sensitive data by TikTok and China-based parent company ByteDance, as well as the potential risk to political processes in the US. 

This isn't the first time that Carr or other US government officials have pressed for a TikTok ban. Although TikTok fans love the fun, creative videos, the company has been repeatedly accused of gathering mass amounts of user data, including biometrics and location, that China's government can access. Earlier this year, Carr testified before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that "at its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data."  

TikTok's responded to Carr, saying that he "has no role in the confidential discussions with the US government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner."

In addition, a TikTok spokesperson told CNET that the company is "confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the US government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns."

Should a ban go into effect, it would have an impact on roughly 94.1 million users in the US, according to Statista. If the US did issue a ban, it would join India as one of the only countries to outright ban TikTok, though others have implemented restrictions or censorship on the app.