TECH BYTE: More States Banning TikTok

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A growing number of states, including Tennessee and Georgia, are banning the social media app TikTok from their state government network devices.

Even the Peach State’s 26 universities and colleges in the University System are now following suit.

“I think it’s probably a smart idea for government buildings and government entities,” said Christina Finley, Tech Goes Home Tennessee. “I’m not super concerned about it as a citizen, but I think it’s probably a smart idea just to be on the safe side.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is concerned the Chinese government and Communist Party could access users’ personal information through the app.

It’s owned by the Chinese company ByteDance.

“You want to be careful when it comes to sensitive information, but you don’t want to overreach, maybe hinder somebody’s personal entertainment or personal growth with how they use a specific platform,” said C-Grimey, Tech Goes Home Tennessee.

FBI Director Christopher Wray says TikTok threatens national security, and could even “manipulate content.”

“I’m always concerned about having my data tracked or my information breached or being hacked. [I’m] definitely concerned about that for my daughter — having her hacked, breached, and having her monitored in a negative manner,” C-Grimey said.

While many users love TikTok, it’s still a good idea to be careful when using the app.

“I do have a 12-year-old who does not have TikTok,” Finley said. “I am happy to show him things that I have found useful or educational. There are people and it’s people’s [jobs] to seek out children. It is my job to protect him for as long as I can.”

TikTok is calling the bans a “political gesture” that’s not needed to protect national security.

App officials say they’re already working to secure the platform in the U.S.

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