Written by Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Arkansas has joined other states in banning the use of the social media app TikTok on state-owned devices and computers as two Republican legislators filed legislation to put the prohibition into law.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday tweeted out a Dec. 8 memo issued by Jonathan Askins, the state’s chief technology officer, informing state employees that TikTok is prohibited on state devices and for it to not be used on any devices connected to the state network unless it’s for an authorized law enforcement or security purpose.
“TikTok’s data collection practices create a national security risk, and we will continue to ensure our state’s data remains secure,” Hutchinson said in a post on Twitter, a social media application.
In his memo, Askins, director of the Arkansas Department of Transformation and Shared Services Division of Information Systems, wrote that the FBI has called TikTok “a risk to national security.”
“On December 2, 2022, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned citizens about the usage of TikTok. TikTok’s privacy and data collection policies allow for the capture of sensitive, personally identifiable information and that data is stored in locations that could be accessed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China for use other than permissions given by the user,” Askins wrote. “We value the privacy of our employees and citizens and have determined we should follow the advice given by the Department of Homeland Security.”
TikTok, which has more than 100 million users in the United States, is owned by Chinese-based company ByteDance and has become a popular social media platform among young people.
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