SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Gov. Spencer J. Cox issued an executive order this morning banning the popular short video app TikTok from all state-owned devices.
Effective immediately, state executive branch employees may not download or use the TikTok app or visit the TikTok website on any state-owned device, including cell phones, laptops, and tablets.
Cox cited cybersecurity concerns over sharing Utah state data with China as his primary reason for the ban. TikTok is owned and operated by ByteDance, a Chinese company headquartered in Beijing.
“China’s access to data collected by TikTok presents a threat to our cybersecurity,” Cox said in a press release. “As a result, we’ve deleted our TikTok account and ordered the same on all state-owned devices. We must protect Utahns and make sure that the people of Utah can trust the state’s security systems.”
Our administration takes security threats by China and China-based entities seriously. This is why we’re banning TikTok on all state-owned devices effective immediately. Read more here: https://t.co/Bca3HVya5v pic.twitter.com/Zh1CuEYxnD
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) December 12, 2022
Cox isn’t the first state official to push back against use of the app, which has over 100 million users in the United States alone. Last week Indiana’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against TikTok, stating that the platform misleads its users about the level of inappropriate content and security of consumer information.
Although the app claims its safe for users ages 13 and older, Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita claims that TikTok contains “salacious and inappropriate content” available to young users “for unlimited periods of time, day and night, in an effort to line TikTok’s pockets with billions of dollars from U.S. consumers.”
“At the very least, the company owes consumers the truth about the age-appropriateness of its content and the insecurity of the data it collects on users,” Rokita said in a press release Wednesday.