As African nations, including Kenya, raise concerns about the continued use of TikTok, New York City has joined the growing list of governments implementing new rules to prohibit the app.
This move aims to mitigate potential security risks originating from China, as reported by TechCrunch.
According to The Verge, the immediate ban is applicable across various agencies, with a directive to uninstall the TikTok app from city-owned devices within 30 days.
The NYC Cyber Command, responsible for addressing cyber threats within the NYC Office of Technology and Innovation, advised the ban after conducting a security assessment.
New York State had previously imposed a ban on TikTok usage on government devices in 2020.
Numerous other states, including New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, and Georgia, have also enforced their own bans in recent times.
The U.S. House of Representatives took a similar step in December by prohibiting the use of TikTok on government devices.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration intensified efforts to pressure TikTok into distancing itself from its Chinese ownership as part of a broader strategy.
In March, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, testified before Congress and faced extensive questioning over concerns that the app could be exploited by China to compromise national security.
Unlike other major U.S.-based social media companies, TikTok is owned by the Chinese tech conglomerate ByteDance.
This push aligns with a global trend, as TikTok has faced bans in various regions.
For example, India took the decision to ban TikTok in June 2020 due to apprehensions about unauthorized collection and storage of user data, which was seen as a threat to national security.
Similarly, Bangladesh banned TikTok in September 2020, citing concerns about the platform’s potential to spread misinformation, propaganda, and disrupt religious and societal values.