Texas Gov. Abbott Announces Statewide TikTok Ban

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a new statewide policy Monday banning TikTok on personal and state-issued devices for all public employees.

Abbott unveiled a new statewide security plan that bans use of TikTok and other software due to the security threat it poses to official government business, he said in a release. The governor cited the ownership of TikTok by a Chinese firm with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a reason to ban the popular vidoe sharing application.

“The security risks associated with the use of TikTok on devices used to conduct the important business of our state must not be underestimated or ignored,” Abbott said. “Owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members, TikTok harvests significant amounts of data from a user’s device, including details about a user’s internet activity.”

Each state agency’s IT department must strictly enforce the ban, which covers state-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers and other devices that can connect to the internet, the release specifies. Employees and contractors will also be prohibited from conducting work business on devices that have TikTok installed on them. (RELATED: TikTok’s Security Protocols Won’t Prevent China From Spying On American Users, Analysts Warn)

Several other states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina and New Jersey have recently implemented similar bans. TikTok has insisted that its application is secure and that it is not spying on Americans on behalf of the CCP, but national security officials still assess that the app presents a national security threat.