South Dakota governor bans state employees from using TikTok on government devices | CNN Business
South Dakota’s governor signed an executive order on Tuesday barring state agencies, employees and contractors from accessing TikTok on government devices, citing “the growing threat to national security” posed by the proprietary social media platform chinese
“South Dakota will not participate in the intelligence gathering operations of nations that hate us,” Gov. Kristi Noem said in a news release. “The Chinese Communist Party uses the information it collects on TikTok to manipulate the American people and collects data from the devices that access the platform.”
The order takes effect immediately.
It is unclear whether many, if any, state employees were actively using TikTok on state-owned devices. But with the move, Noem is the latest lawmaker to call for tougher action against the popular short-form video app, potentially scoring some political points in the process.
TikTok has come under renewed criticism this year, stemming from a Buzzfeed News report in June that some US user data had been repeatedly accessed from China. The report cited leaked audio recordings of dozens of internal TikTok meetings, including one where a TikTok employee allegedly said, “Everything is seen in China.”
In response to the report, TikTok previously said it “has consistently maintained that our engineers at sites outside the US, including China, may have access to US user data as needed under these strict controls.” A TikTok executive told a Senate panel last year that it does not share information with the Chinese government and that a US-based security team decides who can access US user data from China.
“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of the citizens of South Dakota, we must take this action immediately,” Noem said. “I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s example, and Congress should take broader action as well.”
– CNN’s Catherine Thorbecke contributed to this report.