Alabama and Utah ban TikTok on government phones.

On Monday, Alabama and Utah joined other US states in saying that the short-video sharing app TikTok, which is owned by China, can’t be used on state government devices or computer networks.

The actions come after FBI Director Chris Wray warned last month that the Chinese government could use the ByteDance app to control data collection on millions of US users or to control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations.


Related: ByteDance, which owns TikTok, is raising the price of shares that employees can buy back. 

“TikTok collects a huge amount of data, much of which has nothing to do with the supposed purpose of the app, which is to share videos.” “Using TikTok on state IT infrastructure makes it far too easy for Chinese infiltration operations to take place,” Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement.

Her directive also tells agencies in the executive branch to do everything they need to stop TikTok from getting sensitive state data.

In a statement, a spokesperson for TikTok said, “We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to pass laws based on untrue, politically motivated lies about TikTok.”

In a tweet on Monday, Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said that at least nine states have taken action against TikTok “because it poses serious security risks.”

Texas, Maryland, and South Dakota are some of the other states in the US that have banned TikTok on state-owned devices.
Indiana has also filed a lawsuit against the app, saying that it misleads users about China’s access to their data and shows mature content to children.


In 2020, when he was still president, Donald Trump tried to stop new U.S. users from downloading WeChat and TikTok. This would have stopped people from using these apps in the U.S., but he lost a series of court cases.

Related: Russia fines TikTok for what it calls “LGBT propaganda” and Twitch for content from Ukraine.

In June 2021, President Joe Biden revoked President Trump’s executive orders that tried to stop people from downloading the apps and told the Commerce Department to look into the security risks the apps posed.


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