Featured photo: Gov. Roy Cooper wants to prohibit the use of TikTok on state devices

If you’ve ever found yourself caught-up watching the latest dance craze or life hack on your phone, you know how popular and catchy those TikTok videos can be.

But now Governor Roy Cooper wants to prohibit the use of TikTok and the Chinese instant messaging app WeChat on state agency information technology systems. The governor is worried that the apps and certain websites can present an unacceptable cybersecurity risk.

“It’s important for us to protect state information technology from foreign countries that have actively participated in cyber-attacks against the United States,” said the governor in a press release issued Thursday. “Protecting North Carolina from cyber threats is vital to ensuring the safety, security, privacy, and success of our state and its people.”

North Carolina is now among two dozen states that have moved to ban TikTok on state devices amid concerns about how the Chinese company could access user data.

NC Attorney General Josh Stein said that he too is concerned about the security and privacy on the social media platforms.

“We, not social media companies, should be able to make decisions about what and how much we share, who we share it with, and how it is used. I’ll continue my work to keep people and their data safe online, especially when it comes to my investigations into how social media platforms affect our children.”

Gov. Cooper’s new executive order directs the state Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) to develop a policy within 14 days.

Rep. Jason Saine

Republican lawmakers are also praising the governor’s action.

“The Governor’s Executive Order takes an important first step to ensure the privacy of our citizens and the security of North Carolina’s government networks,” said Representative Jason Saine.

A day earlier, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced his state would ban the popular TikTok app from all government-issued devices.

“Mississippi isn’t going to sit around waiting for the Chinese Communist Party to steal our state government data,” said Reeves.

Cybersecurity concerns about TikTok have also united Democrats and Republicans in Congress in recent weeks.

Click here to to read Governor Cooper’s new executive order to protect the state’s information technology infrastructure.

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