South Dakota Bans TikTok From Government Devices

Gov. Kristi Noem calls the social media app a "growing national security threat."

Nina Raemont Writer
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Nina started at CNET writing breaking news stories before shifting to covering Security Security and other government benefit programs. In her spare time, she's in her kitchen, trying a new baking recipe.
Nina Raemont
TikTok logo on a phone screen

South Dakota's ban on downloading TikTok to or using it on state-owned devices goes into effect Wednesday.

James Martin/CNET

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Wednesday banned social media app TikTok for state government agencies, employees and contractors using state-owned devices. The main concern is that TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, may gain control of classified information on a user's location, internet browsing data and keystrokes and use that information to compromise or control software data, according to the Republican governor's executive order

The order goes into effect immediately and applies to "employees and agencies of the State of South Dakota, including persons and entities who contract with the state, commissions, and authorities or agents thereof," the order states. State employees cannot download or use the app or visit the website on state-owned or state-leased devices. 

The app's US. presence remains in jeopardy as government officials question its security risks. 

In November, FBI Director Christopher Wray enumerated the concerns the US government has with TikTok and its potential threat to national security. Other government officials have pointed to the app's tracking mechanisms. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr testified before a subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform saying that "TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data."