COLUMBUS, Ohio — You can now add Ohio to the list of states with a TikTok ban.
On Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine issued an executive order banning TikTok on devices used by government employees. The same goes for any other Chinese-owned app.
In the order, the governor said the ban is in response to growing concerns over data privacy.
The governor’s executive order also cites concerns the Chinese Communist Party is using TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps for “intelligence gathering” purposes.
Ohio is not the only state with a TikTok ban. Several others, including New Jersey, also made a similar move recently.
Even federal lawmakers, last month, issued a ban on the use of the app on the devices of federal employees.
“In a lot of these cases, especially social media, information about you is collected, and sliced, and diced and monetized," said C. Matthew Curtin, a cybersecurity expert and founder of Interhack Corporation. “The idea with these apps is to get you to engage with them so that information can be collected about you and about your behavior.”
TikTok, though, is firing back.
In response to DeWine’s ban, the company told Spectrum News:
"We're disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok. TikTok is loved by millions of Americans, and it is unfortunate that the many state agencies, offices, universities, student groups, and sports teams in those states will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and share information. We are continuing to work with the federal government to finalize a solution that will meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at the federal and state level. These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country's top national security agencies—plans that we are well underway in implementing—to further secure our platform in the United States, and we will continue to brief lawmakers on them."
So what happens to public TikTok accounts being used by public departments across Ohio?
One such entity is the Department of Transportation (ODOT) — or rather was — the department said it shut down its TikTok account last month, citing similar concerns mentioned in the governor’s executive order.