The ban on using TikTok on government-owned and controlled devices widened in the US, with New Jersey and Ohio entering other states to block the popular video app on Monday. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, said he was also banning software vendors, products, and services from over a dozen vendors, including Huawei, Hikvision, Tencent Holdings LTD, ZTE Corporation, and Kaspersky Lab.
Murphy’s office said, “there have been national security concerns about user data the Chinese government might require ByteDance to provide.” Several US states have already assessed a similar ban on the ByteDance-owned app over security problems and that user data might be shared with China via the app. It has also been banned from all US House of Representatives-managed devices.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, said in his order, “these surreptitious data privacy and cybersecurity practices pose national and local security and cybersecurity threats to users of these applications and platforms and the devices storing the applications and platforms.” TikTok hasn’t said the most contrary conclusion yet but has declared that the concerns result from misinformation. Earlier, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers had said on Friday that he is also designing to join other states in banning the use of the popular video app.
The proposal to bar federal government workers from using the popular video app on government-owned devices has also been added to the $1.66 trillion spending bill passed to fund the US government through September 30, 2023. Calls to ban TikTok from government devices acquired popularity after FBI Director Christopher A. Wray said in November it poses national security risks. Wray worried that the Chinese government could use the app to exploit users or control their devices. TikTok has been trying to assure Washington for over three years that the personal data of US citizens cannot be accessed, and its range cannot be manipulated by China’s Communist Party or any other commodity under Beijing’s effect.
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