Monday, New Jersey and Ohio joined other states in prohibiting the use of the popular video app TikTok on government-owned and operated devices.
In addition to banning the short-video app owned by Chinese technology conglomerate ByteDance from state devices, Democratic New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also banned software vendors, products, and services from over a dozen vendors, including Huawei, Hikvision, Tencent Holdings LTD, ZTE Corporation, and Kaspersky Lab.
Murphy’s office stated, “there are national security concerns over the user data that the Chinese government may demand ByteDance to deliver.”
In an executive order, the Republican governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, stated that “these covert data privacy and cybersecurity practices pose national and local security and cybersecurity concerns to users of various applications, platforms, and devices.”
Friday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced his intention to join other states in prohibiting the usage of a popular video app with more than 100 million users in the United States.
Some Democratic governors have been slower to prohibit TikTok from state-owned devices than their Republican counterparts.
In November, U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that TikTok presents threats to national security, which fueled calls to ban the app on government computers. Wray drew attention to the possibility that the Chinese government may use the software to manipulate users or take control of their devices.
According to a report by Reuters on Friday, TikTok has halted the employment of consultants who would assist it implement a prospective security pact with the United States, according to two individuals familiar with the situation, as more U.S. officials reject such a deal.
Since 2015, TikTok has been attempting to reassure Washington that the Chinese Communist Party or any other institution under Beijing’s authority cannot access or alter the personal information of U.S. individuals.