South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has implemented a ban on TikTok on state government-issued devices, citing security concerns over Chinese-based owner Byte Dance.
Executive Order 2022-10, signed on Wednesday, would prohibit state employees, agencies and contractors from downloading the TikTok app or visiting its website on South Dakota-sponsored phones or computers.
“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said in a statement. “The Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform.”
“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,” she added.
U.S. officials have had a rocky relationship with TikTok. The Trump administration failed in its attempt to implement a ban on the social media platform in 2020, and a group of Senate Republicans wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier this year, saying that the Biden administration was failing to take seriously national security concerns surrounding the app.
Brendan Carr, one of the five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios in an interview earlier this month that the federal government should ban TikTok.
“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” Carr told Axios. “There simply isn’t a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”