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Alabama, Utah, and several other US states ban TikTok on government devices

Due to worries about national security, Alabama and Utah joined other US states on Monday in banning the use of the Chinese-owned short-video sharing app TikTok on state government devices and computer networks.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Alabama: Due to worries about national security, Alabama and Utah joined other US states on Monday in banning the use of the Chinese-owned short-video sharing app TikTok on state government devices and computer networks.

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Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray issued a warning, claiming that the Chinese government could use the ByteDance-owned app to control data collection on millions of US users or manipulate the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations.

“It’s disturbing that TikTok collects a tonne of information, much of which has nothing to do with the app’s alleged function of video sharing.”When TikTok is used in combination with state IT infrastructure, there is an intolerable risk of Chinese infiltration operations,” Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama, said in a statement.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a tweet on Monday that at least nine states have already taken action on Tik Tok due to security threats.

A Tik Tok spokesperson expressed his disappointment that “so many governments are jumping on the bandwagon to pass legislation based on unsubstantiated, politically charged misinformation about Tik Tok.”

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Indiana has also filed a lawsuit against the app, claiming that it exposes youngsters to mature content and misleads users about China’s access to their data.

In 2020, the former president Donald Trump tried to prevent new US users from downloading WeChat and TikTok, which would have effectively stopped the usage of these applications in the country, but he lost several legal battles in the process.

President Joe Biden authorised the Commerce Department to study the security issues raised by the applications after President Donald Trump dropped his executive orders that aimed to outlaw the downloads in June 2021.

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