Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly bans TikTok on state devices
ByteDance, the app's parent company, is based in China and maintains close ties with the Chinese Communist Party.
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Kansas Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday banned the use of TikTok on state devices, following in the footsteps of both the federal government and many Republican governors.
With the signing of the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending package, use of the social media platform on most federal devices is now prohibited. Moreover, many state governors, such as Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, have adopted similar measures.
"TikTok mines users' data and potentially makes it available to the Chinese Communist Party," Kelly said when announcing the ban, per the Associated Press.
ByteDance, the app's parent company, is based in China and maintains close ties with the Chinese Communist Party. Former President Donald Trump unsuccessfully attempted to ban the app outright during his tenure, though a bipartisan group of lawmakers have since come out in favor of such a move.
The company has denied sharing user data with the Chinese government and is negotiating with the U.S. government on an arrangement to address user privacy and security concerns.
"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 spokesperson Jamal Brown told the AP.
The latest ban follows ByteDance's confirmation that some of its employees used TikTok to track the locations of legacy media journalists in order to identify the source of a recent leak.