Gov. Kay Ivey sent a memo Monday to all agency heads announcing a ban on the use of TikTok on all state devices and the state network.
The popular video-sharing social media app has come under increased scrutiny of late from national security officials due to its affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party.
The federal government in 2020 found there was “credible evidence” that ByteDance, the Beijing-based parent company of TikTok, “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”
According to the governor’s office, Ivey’s ban was implemented as an effort to shield sensitive state data from Chinese infiltration efforts.
“Protecting the state of Alabama and our citizens’ right to privacy is a must, and I surely don’t take a security threat from China lightly,” said Ivey in a statement accompanying the announcement. “After we discussed this with our OIT (Office of Information Technology) secretary, I came to the no-brainer decision to ban the use of the TikTok app on our state devices and network.
“Look, I’m no TikTok user, but the evidence speaks for itself, and I want to make sure I’m doing everything we can as a state to stand against this growing security risk.”
In her memo sent to state agency leadership, Ivey said the social media app “harvests vast amounts of data from its users, much of which has no legitimate connection to the app’s supposed purpose of video sharing.”
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL