The State of Oregon is considering prohibiting the use of the social media platform TikTok on phones issued to state employees. The potential ban is part of a larger effort to safeguard the security of state-owned devices.
Oregon is the latest jurisdiction to consider proscribing the use of TikTok, a Chinese-owned app, on state-issued phones. It follows the lead of several other states and federal agencies that have either banned or restricted the use of the app in recent months.
The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) issued a memo in late March, stating that it was assessing the security risks posed by TikTok. The memo stated that the app “presents a greater risk to the security of state-issued devices and data than other apps.”
The DAS has yet to draw a firm conclusion on whether to ban TikTok, but a spokesperson for the department said it is “considering options for limiting the use of the app.”
The DAS memo notes that TikTok collects extensive data from its users, including location data, device information, and “other information related to the user’s device and activities.” It further states that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, has been subject to numerous investigations relating to potential violations of user privacy.
The memo also notes that the app has come under scrutiny from the U.S. government for its alleged ties to the Chinese government. The Trump administration has accused the company of sharing user data with the Chinese government, a claim which the company denies.
Though the DAS has yet to reach a decision on the matter, the memo indicates that the department is leaning towards prohibiting the use of TikTok on state-issued phones. If the ban is implemented, it would be the latest in a growing list of states and federal agencies that have taken action against the app.
The DAS has not provided a timeline for when a decision on the matter will be made.