DENVER (KDVR) — Calls for TikTok to be removed from phones around the United States are growing louder across the nation.
A U.S. senator from Colorado is now joining the list of people looking to stop the app’s use and is calling on Apple and Google to remove it from their stores.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet not only wants the app to be removed from phones, but he is also asking to have it removed from app stores for good. He sent a letter to the CEOs of Apple and Google, asking them to remove the app from their digital stores.
“We’ve got a platform out there that a third of the American people are spending on average more than 80 minutes a day on that’s owned by ByteDance, that’s the Chinese company that owns TikTok,” Bennet said.
It is the app kids, celebrities and even the governor are on to get their messages out, but Bennet said the app is putting Americans at risk.
“Under the laws of China, they can require TikTok to disgorge the data they collect on the American people for whatever purpose that the Chinese government wants, and I think that’s a real danger to our country and a real danger to our people,” Bennet said.
He believes what makes the app more concerning is the lack of knowledge about what they may be doing with the data.
“There is evidence that they have used it to manipulate the popularity of certain postings on the site. Then beyond just the use of data, there has been some evidence that they have used the site to sanitize the free speech when it comes to Hong Kong,” Bennet said.
More than half of the states in the U.S. have made some type of move to get the app off state-issued devices.
President Joe Biden signed a ban on federal-issued devices too. Colorado Republican U.S. Rep. Ken Buck is sponsoring a bill to remove the app from all U.S. devices, something Bennet said he will support.
“I strongly agree with what Congressman Buck is doing,” Bennet said. “There is no reason why any federal employee should allow their device to be a portal for the Chinese government to spy on them if that’s what they are deciding to do.”
A spokesperson from Polis’ office issued this statement as well.
State devices should be utilized for work purposes, not for the use of social media apps unless they are needed to effectively perform your duties — this is standard practice in most private sector companies. The Governor and OIT have reviewed best practices for social media usage on state devices to ensure that personal TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and other social media are not used on state devices except for legitimate state purposes like communications outreach.Spokesperson from the Office of Governor Polis
Even if this app were to be removed from the stores, millions of people would still have the app on their phones.
Bennet said the app would eventually become too old to use and hopefully Americans would use a different, U.S.-based app instead.