US House staffers are banned from having the popular social video app TikTok on their official devices, according to a report from Reuters.
TikTok is no longer allowed on staff devices because it presents a “high risk due to a number of security issues,” according to a memo that was sent to staff Tuesday by the House’s Chief Administrative Officer, the Reuters report says. Staffers who currently have the app on an official device must delete it and future downloads of TikTok are not permitted. The House is taking similar steps to the US Senate, which passed its own bill to barr the app from federal devices earlier in December.
Lawmakers have concerns that TikTok, which is owned by China-based parent company ByteDance, could be a national security threat. In November, FBI director Christopher Wray warned the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States that the app could be used “to control data collection on millions of users… or to control software on millions of devices.” A measure to prohibit TikTok on government devices was included in the $1.7 trillion spending bill passed by Congress last week, but it only applies to the executive branch and not Congress.
A TikTok spokesperson didn’t comment on the new House ban, but told CNET, “We have been working with the US Committee on Foreign Investment for over two years to address all reasonable national security concerns about TikTok in the US. We believe those concerns can be fully resolved.”
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.