Without much fanfare or public announcement, the State of Delaware has banned the controversial app TikTok from government devices.
A memorandum sent to all State of Delaware Computing network users earlier this month lays out the reasoning behind the move.
Officials in the Department of Technology and Information told state employees that numerous federal and state entities have issued warnings regarding national security concerns with the popular video sharing app. Officials said in the memorandum obtained by FSU that the social media platform, owned by the Chinese company Byte Dance has vulnerabilities identified include:
Collection of keystrokes of users, screen captures, and access to data from the phone’s clipboard;
Unique Media Access Control (MAC) address of the device;
Data that may include passwords, location, and other sensitive information (not only into
the TikTok app, but also the other apps used on a device, e.g., email, text messages, eHealth apps, etc.);
Chinese national security laws allow the government to compel companies headquartered there to provide it with data, which may include the personal data, intellectual property, or proprietary information of users the memorandum goes on to say.
Officials said ByteDance has refused to cut off user data flows to China or China-based employees; and,
State-owned electronic devices may enable the Chinese government to obtain confidential, private, or other data from Delaware agencies or employees added the officials.
To reduce risk, adhere to federal guidance, and address national security concerns, TikTok will no longer be permitted on State-owned devices and will be blocked on the network as an unauthorized website said officials.