More than 20 states have pledged to ban government officials from using TikTok. Growing concerns about national security and user data privacy have caused states to become wary of the application.
TikTok has been banned from state-owned devices in these states, which includes both computers and mobile phones.
Data Privacy Is a Priority
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is the latest state official to sign an executive order banning the social media platform from government devices. TikTok is not the only app that is being targeted. WeChat, a Chinese messaging application, has also been put on the butcher block along with other apps that pose risks to cybersecurity.
The Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, also signed a similar order, though he also targeted Alibaba products. Both governors gave speeches following the signing of their respective orders. “It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyberattacks against the United States,” Cooper said. “Protecting North Carolina from cyberthreats is vital to ensuring the safety, security, privacy and success of our state and its people.””
“Defending our state’s technology and cybersecurity infrastructure and protecting digital privacy will continue to be a top priority,” said Evers. “This order ensures we remain vigilant in monitoring new technologies and evolving cybersecurity issues.”
TikTok has amassed more than 94 million users in the United States alone. The platform has been targeted by lawmakers who are concerned with its connection to China and worry about what personal information China could be getting ahold of through the app. The fact that there is evidence that United States user data has already been accessed and reviewed by China has only made the issue more bipartisan.
FBI Director Christopher Wray also warned Congress that the Chinese could potentially control users’ devices through TikTok and other programs that originated in China.
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