NYC bans use of TikTok on city-owned phones, joining federal government, majority of states

Aug 17, 2023, 9:21 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City has directed its employees to delete TikTok from their city-issued phones, joining the federal government and more than half of U.S. states in banning the use of the Chinese-owned social media app on government-owned devices.

“While social media is great at connecting New Yorkers with one another and the city, we have to ensure we are always using these platforms in a secure manner,” Jonah Allon, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams, said in a statement Thursday.

Allon said the city’s top information security officials determined that TikTok posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks and directed the app’s removal from city-owned devices within 30 days.

The federal government ordered employees to delete TikTok from government-issued cellphones earlier this year amid concerns that its parent company, ByteDance, could give user data to the Chinese government. More than half of U.S. states have enacted similar bans.

New York state has prohibited the use of TikTok on state-owned devices since 2020 with some exceptions for promotional accounts.

TikTok officials have said that fears that the app’s use could pose cybersecurity risks are unfounded. There was no immediate response after a message seeking comment on the New York City ban was sent to a TikTok spokesperson.

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NYC bans use of TikTok on city-owned phones, joining federal government, majority of states