New York City is banning TikTok from its employees’ devices, joining multiple other U.S. government bodies.
A city hall spokesperson confirmed Thursday to The Hill that agencies must remove the video-sharing application from government-owned devices within the next 30 days. The goal is to ensure the protection of data and to prevent any security risks that could be associated with the Chinese-owned TikTok.
“While social media is great at connecting New Yorkers with one another and the city, we have to ensure we are always using these platforms in a secure manner,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“NYC Cyber Command regularly explores and advances proactive measures to keep New Yorkers’ data safe. As part of these ongoing efforts, NYC Cyber Command determined that the TikTok application posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks and directed its removal from city-owned devices,” the spokesperson added.
New York City government accounts on TikTok appear to have suspended their postings. The city’s sanitation department account — which has garnered more that 47,000 followers — said that the account “was operated by NYC until August 2023” and that it is “no longer monitored.”
The New York City Police Department’s account — which has more than 267,000 followers — said it was no longer active as of Thursday.
The Verge first reported news of the TikTok ban Wednesday.
TikTok has been banned on government devices across many states as well as the federal government. U.S. lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle have also expressed cybersecurity concerns that the Chinese Communist Party could potentially access data from TikTok because of its ownership by a Chinese company.
TikTok has maintained that it is independent of China and not subject to any requests for data from the government, noting that is has taken steps to protect U.S. user data.
The Hill has reached out to TikTok for comment.