TikTok was banned by public universities in a growing number of US states in recent months. Two of the largest colleges in the country have also been banned.
The University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas A&M University have joined the ranks of colleges that are taking action against the social app, which is owned Beijing-based ByteDance.
The A wave of recent TikTok bans on college campusesA number of state governors have issued executive orders. Alabama, Arkansas and Florida, Georgia, Idaho and Oklahoma, South Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas have taken steps to block the app from their campus wi-fi networks.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott Command Texas agencies to block the applicationIn December, the government agencies received a request for privacy and security concerns due to TikTok’s Chinese ownership. Abbott called the concerns “growing risks” and gave agencies until February to make changes.
“The university is taking these important steps to eliminate risks to the information contained in the university network and our critical infrastructure,” said University of Texas advisor to chief technology strategy Jeff Neyland. wrote this week.
“As described in the governor’s directive, TikTok harvests massive amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where, and how they engage in Internet activity — and provides this set of sensitive information to the Chinese government.”
A spokesperson for Texas A&M confirmed to the Texas Tribune that “…students and faculty, staff, as well as visitors, will not be able use the app when they are connected to the A&M network.
TikTok was still in a strange and paradoxical state of limbo at the beginning of 2023. The federal and state governments are also closely monitoring the app, which is regularly at the top of the charts in the US.
Biden administration TikTok banned from government agenciesIn a bill signed at December’s end. Christopher Wray, FBI Director Raise red flagsInformation about TikTok’s ability to collect data from its users and its ability for it to publicize Chinese state-influence operations at the same time.
“All of these things are in the hands of a government that does not share our values and has a mission that is very much in conflict with what is in the best interests of the United States,” Wray said. “This should concern all of us.”
It has been long suspected that the US government is involved. It runs its own covert influence operationsAlthough there is no evidence to suggest that US tech companies have enabled this behavior through social media apps, it is consistent with the platform’s policies.
Although ByteDance’s accusation of ByteDance is ironic, apps based in the US have greater recourse to government requests and more channels to transparency about these relationships.
Concerns about TikTok’s Chinese ownership by the Biden administration are a continuation of these concerns Rooted in the US governmentDuring the Trump era. Despite these unprecedented efforts, the Trump administration tried to force ByteDance into selling its US TikTok business. collapsed over time.
ByteDance has been very unflinching about it How data flows between its operations in the US and ChinaSurprisingly, the company also has other secrets. Last month, Forbes reportedTikTok’s parent company monitored the IP addresses of journalists to identify employees who shared unauthorized information.
It’s unlikely that university bans on TikTok will have an impact on its popularity, regardless of whether or not there are ongoing concerns about TikTok spreading in the US. Students can easily switch to their mobile data plans to get around network-wide blocking on campus, though many school staff will soon have a firewall between the app and their university accounts — and perhaps one less social channel to monitor.
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