Growing number of states banning TikTok on government devices

A rising number of states are banning the use of TikTok on government devices over potential nationwide safety threats posed by the Chinese-owned social media platform. 

On Wednesday, Texas turned the newest state to ban the favored app, following Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Nebraska. 

U.S. officers are involved the Chinese government may pressure TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, to share the information it collects on its hundreds of thousands of customers. 

“TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices … and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned in a letter asserting the ban. 

For years, the U.S. intelligence group has had issues about how information collected by the company is getting used. FBI Director Christopher Wray mentioned earlier this month that the company’s information assortment “can be used for traditional espionage operations.” 

The Trump administration threatened to ban the app until it was bought to an American company, citing potential safety and privateness threats. President Biden reversed Trump’s efforts to ban the app, however ordered a government assessment of foreign-owned apps, and whether or not they pose any safety dangers.

The U.S. army beforehand banned its members from utilizing TikTok on government devices. 

TikTok denies it shares information with the Chinese government. 

Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public coverage for North America, advised CBS News on Wednesday the company collects information just like different apps.

“Maybe they should consider banning all social media apps from government phones,” Beckerman mentioned. 

In an announcement, TikTok added: “The concerns driving these bans are largely fueled by misinformation about our company.” 

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