Gov. Noem’s recent executive order bans TikTok. The order prohibits the social media platform from being downloaded by contractors, government employees, and South Dakota agencies. Noem explained that it was the state’s duty to protect its citizens and that the action to keep private data safe had to be taken immediately. The restriction prohibits access to the TikTok website and app on state-owned or leased electronic devices and is now in effect.
The FBI recently stated that TikTok could pose national security risks due to potential data collection or influence over users. According to NPR, Chinese rules allow the government to compel enterprises within the country to disclose their data. There are fears that the data collection may include personal information, reported the Argus Leader.
The popular app has over 200 million downloads in the United States. It is becoming a crucial component of the nation’s information infrastructure. The platform’s ownership by a Chinese parent firm is a significant national security risk.
The communications director for Noem’s office, Ian Fury, texted that the S.D. Department of Tourism had deleted its TikTok account. Nobody knows what rules will apply to public universities in South Dakota.
Brendan Carr, one of the FCC’s five commissioners, told Axios in an interview that the Council on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) should take steps to ban TikTok. Although the FCC lacks the jurisdiction to regulate TikTok directly, Congress has already responded to Carr’s concerns about Chinese telecom companies like Huawei.
TikTok is now in talks with CFIUS, an interagency committee that handles national security reviews of foreign firm mergers. The goal is to determine if it can be divested to an American company by the Chinese parent company ByteDance while remaining operating in the U.S. Carr said that he didn’t believe in any other way but to ban TikTok. He emphasized growing concerns about U.S. data leaking to China and the data’s potential influence on the political situation in the U.S. Carr doesn’t believe in a scenario where the U.S. could develop a protection data system that will ensure the data doesn’t leak into the hands of China. A couple of months ago, Carr wrote letters to Apple and Google requesting that they take the apps out of their stores.
A TikTok representative told Axios in a statement that Carr had no role in the classified conversations with the U.S. government connected to TikTok. The spokesman for TikTok also stated that the company favors adopting federal data privacy laws that apply to all businesses.
Recent reports have questioned TikTok’s claims that the firm does not adhere to Chinese government content control regulations and that U.S. user data is safe because it is hosted outside China, reported by Axios. According to a June BuzzFeed investigation, TikTok programmers with offices in China had access to private user data from the United States, including phone numbers and birthdays. According to a Forbes article last month, ByteDance intended to use TikTok to gather data on specific U.S. customers. Another Buzzfeed article reveals that the Chinese company ByteDance urged staff to spread pro-Beijing messages to American users of a news app. According to Bytedance, this was not done.