TikTok Banned on Federal Government Devices

The federal government is trying to ban TikTok from government devices due to security concerns.

On December 23, the 117th Congress passed a bill banning TikTok from all Federal government devices. Several state governments have previously banned TikTok: Texas, Utah, North Dakota, Maryland, and more.

TikTok, a social media app owned by ByteDance, has been downloaded and used by over one billion users worldwide. It has one billion monthly users, with the United States’ having the most. TikTok’s For You Page uses an AI-based recommendation algorithm to track what users are enjoying and suggest similar content. The concerns lie in TikTok’s algorithm, the data it is collecting, and the influence it has on American users. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is run in Beijing, the capital of China. Some officials fear ByteDance has too much influence on users and collects information that could be a threat to national security.

The Trump administration took these concerns very seriously, going as far as requiring ByteDance to transfer ownership of TikTok. After he left office, ByteDance remained the parent company of TikTok. Biden’s administration is also investigating these claims, but have not made any major confirmations decisions.