SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO)– Governor Kristi Noem signed an Executive Order yesterday banning the social media app TikTok for state government agencies, employees, and contractors using state devices.
TikTok is known for its 30 second video clips, but the use of the app for those in government positions has been called into question due to growing security concerns around data collection.
“Anytime you’re using any application from Twitter, to Facebook to TikTok, even things like the Google Maps on your phone or Apple Maps. You’re giving away a lot of your data, so you trade that for convenience and functionality,” Hale said.
Matt Hale is an Associate Professor of Cyber security at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
“You can see the problem- if they can track where you’re at what you’re doing, based on what you send in social media,” Hale said.
He says apps like TikTok collect your personal information, track your location, even use facial recognition from what you post on the app.
“If you are tracking somebody like a military official, that could be a problem, right? It could reveal actually some locations of particular critical infrastructure or things that we might want to protect from a national security point of view,” Hale said.
This information is supposed to be used for personalized marketing.
“What happens after it’s stored and used in their primary locations for those servers? How much of it goes back to corporate headquarters, which are in China and then how much of that might be shared with the communist government in China?” Hale said.
Hale says it’s not just TikTok that gathers and shares your information, most apps do.
“There should be in some informed consent about what you’re willing to give up, and you should at least think about the trade-off between additional risks that you might take on in exchange for giving away some of your security and privacy,” Hale said.