Ohio and New Jersey have become the latest US states to ban the use or downloading of Tik Tok on government owned or provided devices.

The social media giant, which became wildly popular during the COVID pandemic, is owned by Chinese company ByteDance and has been portrayed as a national security liability for its ties to Beijing.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) described the app as high risk.

“This decisive action will ensure that the state’s cyber security is unified against actors who may seek to divide us,” Murphy said in a statement. statement Monday.

Murphy is not only targeting ByteDance as a whole, including TikTok, but also an additional 13 vendors, products and software that are considered a threat, including the popular Chinese platform WeChat and Chinese telecommunications conglomerate Huawei Technologies.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said his employees and state agencies may not use any social media apps, channels or platforms owned by a China-based entity. The Republican governor accused Chinese-owned companies of directly sharing user data with the Chinese Communist Party under the country’s 2017 National Security Law, which requires local companies to share intelligence with the CCP.

“Social media apps and platforms operating in China engage in surreptitious data privacy and cybersecurity practices to include the collection of personal information, behavioral usage data, biometric data, and other data contained on their users’ devices.” DeWine said in his executive order signed on sunday.

TikTok spokesman Jamal Brown said “it’s unfortunate” that states that enact such bans miss out on TikTok’s benefits around building a community and sharing information.

“We are disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to improve cybersecurity in their states and are based on unsubstantiated falsehoods about TikTok,” Brown told HuffPost.

Other states that have issued similar TikTok bans for state employees include Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina, among others.

“We are continuing to work with the federal government to finalize a solution that meaningfully addresses any security concerns that have been raised at the federal and state levels,” Brown added.

Late last month, Congress passed a spending bill that included a provision banning TikTok on federally owned devices with some exceptions.

fbi Director Chris Wray has also shared his concerns about the popular app in the past, narration an event at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in December in which China is effectively in charge of the algorithm, “allowing them to manipulate the content and, if they want, use it for influence operations.”

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