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House of Representatives bans TikTok on government phones

Leaders say the app is ‘high risk’ to user security and privacy.

tiktok logo with blurred smartphone in the background
Image: KnowTechie

Members of the US House of Representatives must remove TikTok from any government-issued devices in their possession.

Earlier this week, NBCNews obtained an internal memo sent to House of Representative members by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Catherine L. Szpindor.

The memo claims that TikTok is “high risk to users due to a number of security risks.” The memo ordered all House of Representative members to remove TikTok from their government-issued phones.

“House staff are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices. If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it,” read the memo.

The CAO previously warned against downloading TikTok on government-issued phones in August. At that time, the Officer recommended that officials not download the app due to high-risk security and privacy concerns.

Now, the CAO has officially ordered all Representatives to remove the app entirely.

This rule does not apply to members of the Senate, though several members of the Senate are looking for a TikTok ban of their own.

Security and privacy have always been questionable aspects of TikTok. Beijing-based ByteDance owns it, and its link to China has made many officials skeptical about the platform’s safety.

For now, TikTok is only banned on government-issued devices of the House of Representatives members. But who knows what this precedent could mean for TikTok in the United States in the near future?

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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