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Two More US States Ban TikTok

 |  December 14, 2022

More states are taking action against TikTok. Alabama and Utah have now joined Texas, Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, and South Dakota in prohibiting the short-form video app on state government devices, Reuters reports

The states’ decisions come after FBI director Christopher Wray warned that TikTok — owned by Chinese company ByteDance — has the ability to control the app’s algorithm to “manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations.” He also warned that the data could be utilized for espionage.

Last week, Indiana filed two lawsuits against TikTok, becoming the first U.S. state to sue the social media platform.

“Disturbingly, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data, much of which has no legitimate connection to the app’s supposed purpose of video sharing. Use of TikTok involving state IT infrastructure thus creates an unacceptable vulnerability to Chinese infiltration operations,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement.

Read more: Sen. Josh Hawley Reintroduces Bill To Ban TikTok

Her directive also orders executive branch agencies to take all necessary steps to prevent TikTok from accessing sensitive state data.

“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement.

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr said in a tweet on Monday that at least nine states have taken action on TikTok “based on the serious security threats it presents”.

Other U.S. states that have banned TikTok on state devices include Texas, Maryland and South Dakota.