Alabama and Utah banned the use of TikTok on state devices Dec. 12, joining South Dakota, Texas and Maryland which have taken similar actions.
“Disturbingly, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data, much of which has no legitimate connection to the app’s supposed purpose of video sharing,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said, according to Reuters. “Use of TikTok involving state IT infrastructure thus creates an unacceptable vulnerability to Chinese infiltration operations.”
Some government officials are concerned about TikTok’s widespread usage in the U.S. given that ByteDance, a Chinese company, owns the social platform. Last month, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, told Congress TikTok is a national security problem because it could share U.S. users’ data with the Chinese government. TikTok previously said it does no such thing.
“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the bandwagon to enact policies based on unfounded, politically charged falsehoods about TikTok,” a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Most states have their own guidelines on social media usage for government employees. These new orders impact state employees that own devices provided by the state. They will not be able to use TikTok on those devices but could on personal ones.
Indiana was also the first state to file lawsuits against ByteDance and TikTok for showing children inappropriate content and misleading users about their data usage.