TikTok banned on government devices in New York City

NYC prohibits TikTok on government devices due to security concerns, mandating app deletion by agencies and barring staff use on city networks.

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New York City implemented a TikTok ban on government-owned devices over security and privacy concerns. The ban requires NYC agencies to remove TikTok within 30 days, and employees are barred from downloading or using the app from any city-owned devices and networks.

According to the administration of NYC Mayor Eric Adams, the reason for banning the app was because TikTok ‘posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks.’ According to The Verge, NYC cited guidelines from the US Office of Management and Budget that discourage the use of TikTok on government devices and federal legislation enacted earlier this year that prohibits the use of the app.

At the same time, TikTok stated that it has neither shared nor intends to share US user data with the Chinese government. It also highlighted that it has taken measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users.

Why does it matter?

Over the last three years, US states have issued their TikTok restrictions on government-owned devices, which has questioned the balance between security protection and the right to free speech. This is seen in the case of Montana, the first US state to ban the app over alleged intelligence gathering by China. Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed the ban in May 2023, prohibiting Google and Apple’s app stores from offering TikTok within the state, taking effect on 1 January 2024. TikTok users and the app filed a lawsuit to block the ban claiming that such actions violate their First Amendment free speech rights. A court hearing on the case is set for 12 October 2023.