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New York City joins TikTok ‘banwagon’

The city of New York has announced an immediate ban on social media app TikTok citing security concerns over the app’s influence.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 17 Aug 2023
New York City joins TikTok ‘banwagon’
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For now, the ban only covers government devices. Kelly Moan, the city’s chief information security officer, made the announcement late last week.

“While social media is great at connecting New Yorkers with one another and the city, we have to ensure we are always using these platforms in a secure manner,” said City Hall spokesperson Jonah Allon in a widely reported statement.

“NYC Cyber Command regularly explores and advances proactive measures to keep New Yorkers’ data safe. As part of these ongoing efforts, NYC Cyber Command determined that the TikTok application posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks and directed its removal from city-owned devices.”


New York joins a number of jurisdictions in enacting a ban on the app, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance. The US federal government announced a similar ban after a string of largely Republican-led states placed their own bans on TikTok’s use on government hardware.

The US state of Montana will go even further, however, when it enacts a total ban on the app from beginning of 2024. TikTok struck back quickly, however, filing a lawsuit against the state in May 2023, within weeks of the total ban being announced.

The Australian federal government announced a similar ban on using TikTok on government devices in April, though it does not extend to the app’s website.

One of the key issues concerning lawmakers is whether or not the Chinese government has access to, or can request access to, TikTok’s vast trove of user data. When a TikTok spokesperson appeared before a Senate committee in July, they took a question regarding such access on notice.

“TikTok has taken on notice to provide the number of times Australian user data has been accessed by employees in China,” Greens Senator David Shoebridge said in one of a string of Twitter posts.

“This is important information we should be seeking from all platforms [that] have access to Australian users’ data which may be accessible by foreign entities.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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