New Jersey and Ohio have become the latest US states to ban ByteDance-owned short video app TikTok from government-issued devices.
On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that he issued ‘’a cybersecurity directive to prohibit the use of high-risk software and services, including TikTok, on State provided or managed devices with some exceptions — ensuring the confidentiality, integrity & safety of State information.’’
‘’There have been national security concerns about user data the Chinese government might require ByteDance to provide,’’ Murphy’s office said in a statement.
In addition to TikTok, the NJ ban will also affect other software vendors, products, and services, such as Huawei Technologies, Tencent’s WeChat, Alibaba’s Alipay and Alibaba.com mobile apps, and Kaspersky Lab.
As reported by Reuters, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that “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.“
The announcements come two weeks after the U.S. House of Representatives banned TikTok from the devices it owns and manages. With the addition of New Jersey and Ohio, the popular app, which has over 100 million users in the U.S., has now been banned from government-issued devices in more than 20 states including Alabama, Utah, Nebraska, Texas, and Maryland.
The list will soon include Wisconsin too, since Governor Tony Evers said last Friday that he’s set to announce a similar ban. Meanwhile, the US Navy also banned TikTok from its devices back in 2019, saying that it poses a national security threat.
“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok,” a company spokesperson said on Monday. ‘’We are continuing to work with the federal government to finalize a solution that will meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at the federal and state level.’’