[WASHINGTON] The chair of a US congressional panel wrote to Alphabet’s Google and to Apple on Friday to ask what, if any, disclosures mobile apps are required to make involving distant places ties, a subject that follows reviews of Chinese funding infamous apps such as TikTok and Grindr.

Rep Stephen Lynch, chairman of a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, said in a statement that he had requested both Google and Apple to tell Congress whether they required app developers to reveal any non-US ties.

Concern over China obtaining sensitive information about US citizens via social media apps is one of several sore areas in relations between the United States and China even as US President Donald Trump’s change fighting with China followers suspicion between the world’s two largest economies.

TikTok, which is wildly famous with teenagers, is owned with the aid of Chinese technological know-how organization ByteDance. In an associated matter, the Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd has said it would promote famous homosexual relationship app Grindr Inc via June 2020 because of US countrywide safety concerns.

“Recent press reviews have shed mild on allegations that positive overseas corporations and developers may additionally be presenting sensitive records on US residents by way of their cellular functions to their host governments, thereby creating widespread national security risks,” Mr Lynch wrote in similar letters to Google chief government Sundar Pichai and Apple’s Tim Cook.
“US laws permit cellular purposes to collect large quantities of personal records about their users,” the letters said, noting that some of the facts is sensitive.

Neither Apple nor Google responded to requests for comment.

Because of concern about TikTok, which is underneath scrutiny from the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius), ByteDance has stepped up efforts to separate the app from much of its Chinese operations.

Cfius has sought assurances that non-public statistics held by TikTok is saved securely in the United States and will no longer be compromised through Chinese authorities.

A senior Democratic committee aide mentioned an FBI warning that apps developed by using adversaries such as Russia were plausible counterintelligence threats. “It’s worth asking whether Russia and China would possibly be manipulating popular purposes to gain a countrywide protection advantage,” the aide said.