The social media app TikTok has become increasingly popular, with millions of users around the world sharing short videos on the platform. However, concerns about the security of data on the app have led to some U.S. states taking action to protect sensitive information on state-owned devices. As a result, New Jersey and Ohio have joined a growing list of states that have banned the use of TikTok on state-owned devices.
Year: This move comes in 2020, during the Presidency of Donald Trump.
President: In August 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban TikTok and WeChat, citing national security concerns.
Impact: The bans have been implemented by state governments in order to protect sensitive information that may be stored on state-owned devices, such as personal information and confidential government documents. These bans specifically prohibit the use of TikTok on state-owned devices, such as phones and computers, and do not affect the general availability of the app on personal devices.
When: This movement started to gain traction around August-September 2020, and the ban has been put in to action around that time period.
Abuse: The concern is largely focused on the fact that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, and there are concerns that the Chinese government may use the app to collect data on American citizens. Additionally, there have been several reported cases of TikTok users being subjected to harassment and abuse on the app, further fueling concerns about the platform’s security and privacy.
It’s worth mentioning that TikTok has repeatedly stated that data of the user is collected, encrypted and stored in the US, and the company has committed to more transparency and oversight of data use. However, the governments are still concerned about the safety and security of the personal data of their citizens and thus the ban is still in place.
TikTok’s ban is still uncertain, and it’s currently still facing legal challenges. The company has been making significant efforts to prove to the U.S Government that the company is not an espionage threat for the country. It has also entered into negotiations with several American companies to become majority-owned by Americans. In November 2020, Oracle and Walmart announced that they will purchase a 20% stake in TikTok’s American operations, which was seen as a way to alleviate some of the government’s national security concerns.
It’s important to note that the use of TikTok is not only banned on state-owned devices, but some government agencies such as US Army, Navy, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also banned its use among the employees. The main concern is the safety and security of personal data of citizens. These decisions have led to some confusion among TikTok users, as the app is still available for download and use on personal devices, but cannot be used on state-owned devices.
The ban on TikTok in certain states, along with the potential national ban ordered by President Trump, highlights the growing concerns about the security of personal data on social media platforms. While TikTok has stated that they are committed to protecting user’s data, governments remain cautious and are taking steps to protect sensitive information on state-owned devices. It remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved and what the future of the app will be in the US.