Evers signs executive order banning TikTok on state-issued devices

Evers Signs Executive Order Banning Tiktok On State Issued Devices


MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday signed an executive order banning the social media app TikTok from state-issued devices amid cybersecurity concerns related to the app’s parent company’s Chinese ownership.

The order adds TikTok to a list of Chinese companies whose products or services are banned on state-issued devices and state networks, including cell phone manufacturers Huawei and ZTE. It cites TikTok’s purported ability to harvest large amounts of data from users and a 2017 Chinese law requiring businesses registered or operating in that country to share data with its government for intelligence purposes.

RELATED: Evers insists decision to ban TikTok from state devices isn’t change of course

After initially saying he did not have plans to ban the app from state devices, Evers announced last week he would do so after receiving additional information from the FBI and other government officials.

“In the digital age, defending our state’s technology and cybersecurity infrastructure and protecting digital privacy have to be a top priority for us as a state,” Evers said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “I trust the professionals who work in this field, and it was important for me to consult with and get advice from experts in law enforcement, cybersecurity, and counterintelligence, including the information technology experts working within (the Department of Administration’s Division of Enterprise Technology), to make the best decision to protect state technologies, and ultimately, the people of Wisconsin.”

Numerous other states have made similar moves.

RELATED: U.S. Representative from Wisconsin proposes federal TikTok ban

The ban does not apply to general consumers, though Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin has introduced bipartisan legislation in the House of Representatives to ban TikTok from operating nationwide.

WATCH BELOW: Why are there concerns about TikTok’s security? A local expert explains