Alabama, Utah join US states banning TikTok from government devices – Xinhua

Alabama, Utah join US states banning TikTok from government devices

Alabama and Utah joined other U.S. states on Monday in banning the use of Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok on state government equipment and computer networks over national security concerns, Reuters reported.

The actions follow FBI Director Chris Wray’s warning last month that the Chinese government could use the ByteDance-owned app to control data collection on millions of U.S. users, or control recommendation algorithms that Algorithms may be used to influence operations.

Photo by 8268513 on Pixabay

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement: “It is disturbing that TikTok collects a large amount of data, much of which has no legal connection to the app’s purported video-sharing purposes. Therefore, the use of TikTok involves The national IT infrastructure is unacceptably vulnerable to Chinese infiltration operations.”

She also ordered executive branch agencies to take all necessary steps to prevent TikTok from accessing sensitive state data.

A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement: “We are disappointed that so many states are following suit and basing policy on baseless, politically charged lies about TikTok.”

At least nine states have taken action against TikTok “based on the serious security threats it poses,” Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr tweeted Monday.

Other U.S. states that have banned the use of TikTok on state devices include Texas, Maryland and South Dakota.

The state of Indiana has also sued TikTok, claiming it defrauded users about obtaining user data and exposed children to adult content.

Former U.S. President Trump tried to prevent new U.S. users from downloading WeChat and TikTok in 2020, effectively blocking the use of these apps in the U.S., but repeatedly lost in court.

In June 2021, the current US President Biden revoked Trump’s executive order to ban downloads and instructed the Department of Commerce to review the security issues caused by these applications.

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