Salt Lake County bans TikTok as data concerns mount

The ban in Utah’s most populous county comes nearly three months after Gov. Spencer Cox banned the app at the state level.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake County Government Center in May 2022. Utah’s most populous county on Tuesday banned popular social media app TikTok on government-issued devices, nearly three months after Gov. Spencer Cox banned a state one had announced a ban on own devices.

If Salt Lake County employees want to use their government-issued devices to scroll through fun videos, they’ll have to look elsewhere than TikTok.

The Borough Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban the use of the popular social media app by borough-owned entities, joining the chorus of governments who have shunned the platform in recent months.

“After hearing concerns from the White House, the state of Utah, and several other government agencies regarding data concerns with Tik Tok,” Council Chair Aimee Winder Newton said in a text message, “the Salt Lake County Council decided to follow suit with a ban.” TikTok on County devices.”

The video app has come under fire over security concerns as its owner ByteDance is headquartered in China, where the government could force companies in the country to hand over user data.

Salt Lake County’s new policy includes exceptions that allow visitors to county arts venues and libraries to continue using the app on personal devices connected to guest networks.

The public prosecutor’s office may also use the app in the district’s network for investigations.

Salt Lake County’s ban came the same day that U.S. Senator Mitt Romney joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce a bill that would empower the federal government to ban TikTok and other services officials believe are they could pose a threat to national security.

“We must recognize that we face geopolitical opponents who are serious and threaten our security, our prosperity and even the peace and freedom that we enjoy,” the Utah Republican told reporters. “This law is designed to help protect Americans and America and our friends.”

In December, Gov. Spencer Cox banned the social media platform on state-owned devices, citing cybersecurity concerns. Salt Lake County bans TikTok as data concerns mount

Justin Scacco

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