LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has drawn a hard line on loading the TikTok app on state devices.
Hutchinson said Friday he had directed Arkansas Director of Information Services Jonathan Askins to inform state employees that TikTok is prohibited on all state devices. Askins issued a memorandum dated Dec. 8 making that state policy.
Askins cited a Dec. 2 warning from FBI Director Christopher Wray that warned in testimony to the Homeland Security committee about security concerns regarding the application. He also cited consultation with state cyber-security agencies.
“TikTok’s privacy and data collection policies allow for the capture of sensitive, personally identifiable information (PII) and that data is stored in locations that could be accessed by the Government of the People’s Republic of China for use other than permissions given by the user,” Askins said in the memorandum.
The memo then clearly states TikTok is not to be loaded on any state devices.
“We value the privacy of our employees and citizens and have determined we should follow the advice given by the Department of Homeland Security,” Askins said.
Earlier this week, the Senate passed a bill banning TikTok from government devices.
“TikTok is a Chinese-owned entity. It shouldn’t be on any device, let alone a government device,” Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton said at the time. “The House should pass this bill immediately and send it to the president to become law.”
The House still needs to take up the Senate bill and is scheduled to recess on Dec. 23.