Yesterday, Wednesday, December 7, 2022, Texas banned the popular video social media app TikTok on certain devices. Should New York follow suit? Texas, along with Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina, and Nebraska have all banned TikTok from state government devices.
Why Are An Increasing Number Of States Banning TikTok?
TikTok is wildly popular in the United States,
We estimate that TikTok has about 80 million monthly active users in the United States. 60% are female, 40% are male. 60% are between the ages of 16-24. 26% are between the ages 25-44.
Users spend an estimated average of 95 minutes on the app each day. Its popularity might lead you to believe that it is being banned by states for being a time-waster, but that's not the primary issue.
The main reason states are moving to ban the app from government-issued devices is because of the concern over data insecurity. Officials are worried the Chinese company that owns the app, ByteDance, could share the data it collects via the app with the Chinese Government.
A letter from Texas Governor, Greg Abbott's office says,
TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices—including when, where, and how they conduct Internet activity—and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government. While TikTok has claimed that it stores U.S. data within the U.S., the company admitted in a letter to Congress that China-based employees can have access to U.S. data.
The Texas TikTok ban prohibits officers and employees from downloading or using the app on any government-issued devices, including cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and other devices that connect to the internet. New York State has not banned TikTok from government devices, but should it?