Georgia joins neighbors in banning TikTok from state devices
Concerns over Chinese access to personal data
ATLANTA, Georgia (WDEF) – Georgia has joined the ranks of states banning TikTok from state devices.
Governor Kemp on Thursday banned TikTok and the messaging apps for WeChat and Telegram.
The concern is that personal information on users are gathered by the apps and could be accessed by the Chinese (TikTok & WeChat) and Russian (Telegram) governments where the companies are based.
“The state of Georgia has a responsibility to prevent any attempt to access and infiltrate its secure data and sensitive information by foreign adversaries such as the CCP,” Kemp wrote in a memo, using an acronym for the Chinese Communist Party. “As such, it is our duty to take action to preserve the safety and security of our state against the CCP, entities it controls and other foreign cyberthreats.”
The FBI, itself, warned earlier this month that the Chinese could be collecting dates on individuals through the apps.
So far 14 states (including Tennessee and Alabama) have banned TikTok from state devices. Florida has banned it on some devices.
Tennessee had already banned all social media from state devices, but extended the ban to any device connecting to the state network five days ago.
Alabama’s Governor announced a TikTok ban three days ago.
She said on Monday “Look, I’m no TikTok user, but the evidence speaks for itself.. and I want to make sure I’m doing everything we can as a state to stand against this growing security risk.”
North Carolina has not taken any action at this point.
TikTok officials say there is a great misunderstanding about how personal data is kept by TikTok.
But cyber security specialists say the data is being kept here in America, but could easily be accessed by the Chinese.