AUSTIN, Texas (KTRK) — Gov. Greg Abbott announced his ban on TikTok for state-issued devices, arguing that the China-based company has access to private data and poses threat to the United States.
The video above is about the Federal Communications Commission asking Apple, Google to block TikTok from their app stores.
On Wednesday, Abbott said in a tweet he is “also calling for legislation to make the ban permanent and to broaden the ban.”
“We must work together to stop the Chinese government’s efforts to collect, store, and distribute Texans’ data and personal information,” Abbott said in a letter.
The news comes about a month after a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission called on the U.S. government to ban the social media platform over concerns about how the China-owned app handles the data of American users.
TikTok says that it stores the American users’ data within the U.S., with backup “redundancy” in Singapore. It insists it has never removed U.S. posts from the platform at the request of the Chinese government.
However, Abbott claims in his press release that ByteDance Ltd., TikTok’s parent company, planned to use the platform’s location information to surveil individual American citizens.
He explains his urgency on the ban, stating ByteDance is accused of employing Chinese Communist Party members and having a subsidiary partially owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
Although this ban is only active toward government-issued equipment, some politicians would rather citizens to refrain from using the app.
The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok in 2020, eventually calling on ByteDance to sell the app to a U.S. company. However, the sale never took place.
Abbott’s move came on the same day that Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a similar ban, also citing cybersecurity risks. Other states, including South Dakota, South Carolina, and Nebraska, instituted the same TikTok restrictions.
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