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Utah Deletes TikTok Account, Bans App on State Devices

The TikTok app logo. Kiichiro Sato | AP
The TikTok app logo. Kiichiro Sato | AP

By: Kim Jarrett

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has joined other governors in banning social media app TikTok from state-owned devices, citing security concerns. 

“China’s access to data collected by TikTok presents a threat to our cybersecurity,” Cox said Monday in a news release. “As a result, we’ve deleted our TikTok account and ordered the same on all state-owned devices. We must protect Utahns and make sure that the people of Utah can trust the state’s security systems.”

The executive order takes effect immediately. Computers, mobile phones and tablets are included in the ban. 

TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. State and federal officials have warned that the communist Chinese government could force ByteDance to share its data, which could include personal information about its users. More than 100 million people in the U.S. are on TikTok, according to Cox. 

Cox joins governors from South Dakota, South Carolina, Maryland, Texas and Oklahoma in banning the social media app. Indiana has filed two lawsuits against ByteDance. One lawsuit accuses the company of using deceptive methods to lure minors to its app by promising it contains “infrequent/mild” sexual content, profanity or drug references. The other lawsuit accuses the company of storing personal information that can be shared with the Chinese government even though consumers were led to believe their data was safe. 

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