The popular social network TikTok has been the target of spying accusations by the US government for quite some time due to its Chinese origins. And while TikTok was never actually banned from the United States, the government doesn’t seem happy about the app’s existence. The US House of Representatives has now ruled that government devices are not allowed to have TikTok installed.
TikTok is now banned from US government devices
As reported by Reuters, the US House of Representatives administration confirmed on Tuesday that it has banned TikTok from US government devices. This means that no one can install and use the platform on government devices anymore.
According to the House’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), TikTok was banned because the platform offers “high risk due to a number of security issues.” The app must be immediately uninstalled from government devices that currently have it installed. Although the ban doesn’t affect regular users, it reignites the discussion about completely banning TikTok from the United States.
Back in 2020, former US President Donald Trump announced his plans to ban TikTok from the United States, although it never happened. Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission, also known as the FCC, suggested that both Apple and Google should delete TikTok from their app stores. The regulator argued in a letter that TikTok is a “sophisticated surveillance tool” for the Chinese government.
TikTok’s parent company ByteDance then confirmed that some of its China-based employees can access data from TikTok users in the United States. However, ByteDance said that these employees are “subject to a series of robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols.”
ByteDance also committed to making changes that will “fully safeguard user data and U.S. national security interests.” The company said that it is in the process of finalizing “new advanced data security controls” in partnership with Oracle.
ByteDance migrated US user data to Oracle servers last month, but the company still sues data centers in the US and Singapore for backups. Once this agreement is finalized, TIkTok says it will “delete U.S. users’ protected data from our own systems and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the U.S.”
At this point, it’s still uncertain whether TikTok will be completely banned from the United States or not.
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