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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues TikTok ban on state devices 

Abbott said TikTok would be banned from government-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops to protect sensitive information pertaining to the state government

December 8, 2022 7:13am

Updated: December 8, 2022 1:07pm

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday banned the social media platform TikTok from all government-issued devices over concerns about how the Chinese-owned app handles data privacy. 

"TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users' devices -- including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity -- and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government," Abbott said in a letter to state officials on Wednesday.

Abbott said TikTok would be banned from government-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops to protect sensitive information pertaining to the state government. 

There have been rising concerns about how TikTok handles data privacy, with federal officials fearing that American data could be accessed by the Chinese government through the use of the app.

Last week, FBI Director Chris Wray warned that the Chinese government could use TikTok’s recommendation algorithm to manipulate content or users. He added that the Chinese Communist Party does not share the same values as the United States, claiming that it is something “that should concern us.”

On Wednesday, Indiana’s attorney general, Todd Rotika, sued TikTok for allegedly deceiving users about how the Chinese government can access their data. 

On Tuesday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a similar ban on TikTok, as well as one for Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE. 

“We believe the concerns driving these decisions are largely fueled by misinformation about our company. We are happy to continue having constructive meetings with state policymakers to discuss our privacy and security practices. We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices, and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with constituents," TikTok responded to Hogan’s ban.