TikTok banned on state devices with governor’s executive order

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – TikTok is being banned on state computers and cell phones after Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order this afternoon.

Cooper’s order directs the state Chief Information Officer and the state Department of Information Technology to develop a policy within 14 days that prohibits TikTok and WeChat from state devices.

“It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyberattacks against the United States,” said Governor Cooper. “Protecting North Carolina from cyber threats is vital to ensuring the safety, security, privacy, and success of our state and its people.”

Critics say they fear the Chinese government is gaining access to critical information through the application and could be using it to spread misinformation or propaganda.

While there has been much debate about whether the Chinese government is actively collecting TikTok data, observers say TikTok would have to comply with any potential requests from Chinese security and intelligence requests to hand over data because the company’s owner ByteDance, is a Chinese company.

Several other states have already banned the apps from state devices, while a ban on U.S. government devices, which was part of a spending bill, was signed into law at the end of the year.