Citing national security concerns, Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody sent letters to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, urging them to inform users about foreign-developed and owned apps in their app stores.
“We must ensure that consumers have the information needed to make informed decisions about their data privacy and security,’’ Moody said in a statement. ‘’The existing lack of transparency in app stores can create a significant risk for American citizens, and could cause their personal information to be exploited by foreign entities of concern. That is why I am calling on Apple and Google to bring more transparency to their app stores—so consumers know what products are owned or developed by nations that may pose a national security risk.”
‘’Adding an App Store / Google Play Store designation for these foreign applications would provide consumers with the incredibly important information they need to make a fully informed decision prior to downloading such apps,’’ she wrote in her letters.
As the reason for her request, Moody cited ”a spy balloon from China” and foreign apps like TikTok, which has been recently banned from government-owned devices by the U.S. House as well as more than 20 states, and ‘’flagged by national security experts as posing a risk to both privacy and user information’’.