Governor Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to ban TikTok on all state-issued mobile phones and computers due to security threats.
There has been severe distress among the US government about the use of the social media app TikTok. TikTok is widely used and liked by people across America, where almost around 85 million people use the app. But state officials are skeptical about allowing citizens to continue using this app.
This skepticism is due to the Chinese ownership of the app. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance. The tension among the US government is that the app can make use of the personal information of US citizens for political motives.
On Wednesday, the governor sent a letter to state agency leaders and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan. He said “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”
Aside from banning in general use, the app can be used by state agencies for general surveillance and investigation purposes.
Is TikTok really a threat to US citizens?
What makes things serious is that China has a law where it can ask business owners to divulge information that could be potentially beneficial for the state. Here, there is a high probability that TikTok can share the data gathered from US citizens with the Chinese Communist Party.
Many senators and officials were calling for a ban for quite some time. But action is now being taken. Just recently, the military and navy banned the app on all state-issued devices. Then, the governors of South Dakota, South Carolina, and Maryland also banned the app.
Last week FBI director Chris Wray also expressed his feelings about the app, where he said that it is probable that TikTok will manipulate its algorithm to show a certain kind of content to US citizens. He further said that Chinese values are not the same as the US values, which is something concerning.