Gov. Evers to ban TikTok from state devices

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers intends to issue an executive order banning TikTok from state devices, likely next week, a spokesperson for the Governor’s Office confirmed Friday.

In December, Evers said his office was in frequent contact with the FBI and emergency management officials to make sure the app doesn't pose a security risk.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. It has been targeted by Republicans who say the Chinese government could access user data, such as browsing history and location. U.S. armed forces also have prohibited the app on military devices.

"We do have national security concerns, at least from the FBI’s end, about TikTok," said FBI Director Christopher Wray. "They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations, if they so chose, or to control software on millions of devices, which gives the opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices."

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Evers has said that only about 12 state phones have TikTok on them. Evers himself does not have a personal or official TikTok account, but he did maintain an account supporting his reelection campaign earlier this year. His office has said that account was not used on any state-issued devices.

At least 18 other states have have instituted bans on the use of TikTok on government devices.


Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)

"TikTok is a CCP trojan horse that can track someone’s location, monitor their keystrokes, and collect other pieces of sensitive information about them. This app belongs nowhere near any part of our government and I’m glad Governor Evers finally made the decision to ban TikTok on state devices. Now that Governor Evers has recognized the threat posed by the app, I hope he will also delete his campaign's TikTok account."

Associated Press contributed to this report.