Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday ordered state agencies to ban the use of social media platform TikTok on government-issued devices over concerns about how the Chinese-owned app handles US infrastructure data and other information sensitive.
“TikTok collects massive amounts of data from its users’ devices, including when, where and how they conduct activity on the Internet, and offers this collection of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Abbott said Wednesday in a letter to state officials. .
TikTok has faced increasing scrutiny from state and federal officials over fears that American data could fall into the possession of the Chinese government.
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Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita sued TikTok Wednesday for allegedly deceiving users about the Chinese government’s ability to access their data and show adult content to minors. He marks the first state lawsuit against the app.
TikTok provided ABC News with a statement after Indiana sued the company.
“While we do not comment on pending litigation, the safety, privacy and protection of our community are our top priority. We integrate youth welfare into our policies, limit features based on age, equip parents with tools and resources and continue to invest in new ways to experience content based on age-appropriateness or family comfort.We are also confident that we are on track in our negotiations with the US Government to fully address all reasonable concerns national security and we have already made significant strides toward implementing those solutions,” the statement read.
On Tuesday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a similar ban on TikTok, as well as Chinese technology makers such as Huawei and ZTE, from use for state affairs.
In a statement responding to Hogan’s ban, TikTok said in a statement to ABC News, “We believe the concerns behind these decisions are largely fueled by misinformation about our company. We are happy to continue having constructive meetings with state policymakers to discuss our privacy and security practices. We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with citizens.”
Last month, a Federal Communications Commission commissioner called on the US government to ban the social media platform.
The Biden administration and TikTok have drafted a preliminary agreement to address national security concerns posed by the app, but hurdles remain in negotiations, The New York Times reported in September.
TikTok claims it stores US user data outside of China and has never removed US posts from the platform at the request of the Chinese government.
Recent news has questioned the security of user data.
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Buzzfeed reported in June that China-based TikTok engineers gained access to intimate information about US users, such as phone numbers. Forbes reported in October that ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, intended to use the app to access information about some users.
The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok in 2020, eventually asking ByteDance to sell the app to a US company. However, the sale never happened.
Beatrice Peterson of ABC News contributed to this report.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Bans TikTok on State Devices Originally Appeared on abcnews.go.com