‘The Worst’: FCC Commissioner Carr Shares Awful TikTok Malware Score

February 22nd, 2023 12:43 PM

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr shared the results of a study tracking the collection of user data and security issues on social media platforms. The study showed that communist Chinese government-tied TikTok currently has “the worst” score in the industry.

A recent study from “Malcore,” an automated analysis tool designed to detect and assess risk on social media apps, denoted that TikTok has “the worst” score of the social media apps tested for security risks. In fact, according to Malcore, the only app that scored close to TikTok is a Russian social media app. The company revealed that TikTok’s score is “more than double the industry average.”

“Malcore scored TikTok 63.1,” according to the Malcore website. “This was the highest (worst) score relative to all other applications we tested. The only score close was VK, the Russian app on 62.7. The industry standard was all other major social media applications scored 34 and below with the average score being 28.8 over 21 applications.”

The company said it conducted the study after multiple requests from clients seeking to understand the widespread collection of user data by mobile apps.

The Malcore website noted that users can limit unwanted data harvesting by deleting unused apps and limiting permission and location access.

Commissioner Carr has voiced his concerns about TikTok’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party before, and such calls have only continued to grow in recent months.

“TikTok is not what it appears to be on the surface. It's not just an app for sharing funny videos or memes. That's the sheep's clothing. At its core, TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data," wrote Carr in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on June 24, 2022.

Carr later reiterated similar sentiments in November, adding further: “‘I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban [of TikTok],’ Carr said, citing recent revelations about how TikTok and ByteDance handle U.S. user data,” according to Axios.

But Carr is not alone. Now even Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said that banning TikTok is “something that should be looked at.”

MRC Free Speech America reported in 2021 that ByteDance sold a stake in the company to WangTouZhongWen Technology, a Beijing company owned by China. 

TikTok’s privacy policy allowed it to provide the Chinese company with unlimited amounts of personal data from users in the United States.

In response, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced legislation to ban the app from official federal devices. 

Hawley said the video streaming app is “a Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist Party that has no place on government devices—or any American devices, for that matter.” He added: “TikTok has repeatedly proven itself to be a malicious actor[,] but Joe Biden and Big Tech refuse to take the threat of Chinese espionage seriously. It’s time for Congress to act.”

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