NYC bans TikTok on government devices


Eric Adams, mayor of New York, speaks during the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022.

Eric Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New York City banned TikTok on government-owned devices Wednesday, pointing to security concerns that have made the app a target of bipartisan scrutiny across the country.

Congress already voted to ban TikTok on federal devices last year and several states have taken similar steps. The concern generally stems from TikTok’s ownership by China-based tech company ByteDance, since many policymakers fear that structure could make U.S. users’ information vulnerable to being accessed by the Chinese government, if forced to hand over information to comply with Chinese law.

An NYC City Hall Spokesperson told WNBC in a statement that the ban was a result of the city’s Cyber Command’s conclusion that TikTok “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks.”

City agencies have 30 days to remove the app from government-owned devices.

The ban brings NYC in line with the federal government. Still, broader action against TikTok beyond government-owned devices has remained elusive. After a rush of legislation and a hearing with the TikTok CEO before Congress earlier this year, momentum for placing greater restrictions on the app has waned in favor of other issues.

TikTok has presented a plan to the U.S. government that it says would help ensure the security of U.S. user data, but it’s done little to assuage the concerns of policymakers.

TikTok did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the NYC ban.

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