LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Officials in Lancaster County say they’ve banned the social media app TikTok and other malicious cyber-based systems on all county devices.
The Pennsylvania Treasurer’s office, the United States Congress, and more than half of U.S. states have already banned TikTok from government devices
Pennsylvania currently does not ban the app on government-issued devices, but a bill that would implement a ban was introduced by York County State Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill in February.
The Lancaster County Commissioner’s Office says county officials examined software that may pose a cyber security threat and determined to ban TikTok and other malicious systems.
The Lancaster County ban applies to all county-issued devices including desktops, laptops, servers, tablets, cell phones, and any other information-processing assets. The policy is also applicable to devices connected to the County of Lancaster network for the purpose of accessing county data or services.
“Taking threats to cyber security seriously is imperative to continuing good governance in Lancaster County” said Commissioner Ray D’Agostino “I want to thank our Information Technology Department for keeping county operations, employees and those who interact with our network, safe”.
The ban includes those who access the county’s network, including Wi-Fi networks.
TikTok is consumed by two-thirds of American teens. But there’s long been bipartisan concern in Washington that China could use its legal and regulatory power to seize American user data or try to push misinformation or narratives favoring China.
TikTok spokesman Jamal Brown said it is working to “meaningfully address” security concerns from U.S. and state officials and said states’ bans do not improve security.
“State legislatures are pressing ahead with bans of TikTok based on nothing more than the hypothetical concerns they’ve heard on the news,” Brown said in email to The Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this report