Why Did Alabama and Utah Just BAN TikTok?

On Monday, the states of Alabama and Utah followed other states in banning the use of the short-video posting app TikTok, which the Chinese government controls, on smartphones and computer networks owned or operated by state governments.

The actions are a response to the warnings that were issued by the director of the FBI, Chris Wray, a month ago.

Wray stated the Chinese government might use the app owned by ByteDance to regulate the collection of data on millions of users in the United States or control the guideline algorithm, both of which could be utilized for influence functions.

Data And Algorithm Control

TikTok collects an alarmingly large quantity of data and personal info, much of which has no valid link to the app’s stated use of posting and sharing short videos, according to a statement issued by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey.

The use of TikTok, which involves state-run information technology infrastructure, thereby poses an unacceptable susceptibility to Chinese intelligence-gathering efforts.

Smart phone with TIK TOK logo, which is a popular social network on the internet.

In addition, her instruction requires entities under the executive branch to take any and all measures required to stop TikTok from gaining access to confidential state data.

TikTok is disturbed that so many communities are joining the trend to implement legislation based on unsubstantiated, politically driven misinformation about the platform, according to a statement sent by a representative for the company.

In a Twitter post posted on Monday, Brendan Carr, the Federal Communications Commissioner, claimed at least nine states had taken action over TikTok “based on the substantial security dangers it offers.”

Trump Was Right All Along

Texas, Maryland, and South Dakota are among the other states in America that have joined South Dakota in banning TikTok on state-owned devices.

Additionally, the state of Indiana filed a lawsuit against the application on the grounds that it misleads users on China’s access to sensitive information and makes adult content accessible to youngsters.

Erstwhile President Donald Trump made an attempt in the year 2020 to prevent new users in the United States from installing WeChat and TikTok.

If successful, this effort would have effectively prevented the use of these applications in the United States. However, this effort from the former president was unsuccessful, due to a number of legal challenges.

In June of 2021, President Joe Biden ordered the Commerce Department to launch an investigation into the potential threats presented by the applications. He also revoked Trump’s executive orders that aimed to prohibit the downloads.

With the moves against TikTok usage in some states, we reckon that a bigger implication might be in place. More states might follow this as the threat of China’s data collection looms over.

This article appeared in The Political Globe and has been published here with permission.