On Wednesday, New York City took a step to enhance security by prohibiting the use of the short video-sharing platform 'TikTok' on government-owned devices. This action, reported by Reuters, aligns with similar measures adopted by several other US cities. According to an official announcement from the administration of, the decision was rooted in concerns about TikTok's potential security risks to the city's technical infrastructure.
The directive mandates that relevant agencies uninstall the TikTok application within a 30-day period. As a result, employees will lose access to both the app and its associated website on devices and networks owned by the city. It's worth noting that the City had already banned TikTok from state-issued mobile devices.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, currently boasts a user base of over 150 million Americans. In response to mounting apprehensions regarding potential influence from the Chinese government, there have been calls by US lawmakers for a nationwide prohibition of the app. In response, TikTok has maintained its stance that it has not shared, nor would it share, any user data with the Chinese government. Furthermore, the company emphasized its substantial efforts to safeguard user privacy and security.
Earlier in April, Montana lawmakers took a similar stance, passing legislation to prevent TikTok's operation within the state. This move was the latest in a series of challenges faced by the Chinese-owned app in the US. Possible consequences for TikTok, Apple, and Google (operators of mobile app stores) violating these bans would include fines, contingent on the bill's enactment.
TikTok's Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew was questioned by a congressional committee about potential Chinese government access to user data and influence on the app's content. TikTok has consistently denied any data sharing with the Chinese government and reiterated its commitment to refraining from such actions if requested.
In response to concerns, TikTok is actively pursuing an initiative called Project Texas. This initiative involves the establishment of a separate entity dedicated to storing American user data within the United States, utilizing servers operated by US tech firm Oracle.