South Dakota Governor Bans TikTok From State Devices

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has banned the use of TikTok on state devices. 

Noem signed an executive order Tuesday (Nov. 29) that applies the ban to state devices used by state government agencies, employees and contractors, saying in a press release that the social media platform gathers data on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said in the release. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.” 

The order takes effect immediately and prohibits use of both the TikTok app and website on devices owned or leased by South Dakota, according to the press release. 

“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately,” Noem said. “I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well.” 

TikTok did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment. 

In July, the company provided Republican lawmakers with details on how it plans to keep its user data in the U.S. out of reach of its Chinese owner ByteDance. 

As The New York Times reported July 1, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew wrote to nine Republican senators explaining that TikTok would operate its app from servers controlled by cloud computing giant Oracle, with a third party auditing the machines. In addition, user information would be stored with Oracle, not on TikTok’s servers. 

“We know we are among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of U.S. user data,” Chew wrote in the letter.