Growing number of states banning TikTok on government devices

Growing number of states banning TikTok on government devices

A growing number of states are banning TikTok from government devices due to potential national security threats posed Chinese-owned social media platform.

Texas became the latest state to ban the app on Wednesday, following South Dakota, South Carolina, South Carolina, and Nebraska.

U.S. officials fear that the Chinese government might force TikTok to share data it collects about its millions of users.

“TikTok collects huge amounts of data from users’ devices…and offers this trove potentially sensitive information to China government,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated in a letter announcing this ban.

For years, the U.S. intelligence agency has been concerned about the use of data collected by the company. Christopher Wray, FBI Director, stated earlier this month that data collected by the company “can be used to traditional espionage operations.”

The Trump administration threatened to ban this app if it was not sold to an American company. This was citing security and privacy concerns. President Biden reversed Trump’s efforts to ban the app, but ordered a government review of foreign-owned apps, and whether they pose any security risks.

The U.S. military had previously banned its members using TikTok on their government devices.

TikTok claims it does not share data with the Chinese government.

Michael Beckerman is TikTok’s North American head of public policy. He told CBS News that the company collects data in a similar way to other apps.

“Maybe the government should ban all social media apps on government phones,” Beckerman stated.

TikTok stated that the bans were largely motivated by misinformation about TikTok.

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