NYC Bans Use of TikTok on City-Owned Phones, Entering Federal Government, Majority of States

August 21, 2023: On Wednesday, New York City has restricted TikTok on government-owned devices, indicating security concerns that have made the app a target of bipartisan scrutiny nationwide.

Congress voted to ban TikTok on federal devices last year, and several states have taken similar steps. The concern typically stems from TikTok’s ownership by China-based tech company ByteDance, since many policymakers fear that structure could make U.S. users’ information vulnerable to being accessed by the Chinese government if forced to hand over information to comply with Chinese law.

An NYC City Hall spokesperson told that the ban resulted from the city’s Cyber Command’s conclusion that TikTok “posed a security threat to the city’s technical networks.”

City agencies have 30 days to remove the app from government-owned devices.

The ban brings New York City in line with the federal government. Still, broader action against TikTok beyond government-owned devices has yet to be discovered. After a rush of legislation and a hearing with TikTok’s CEO before Congress earlier this year, momentum for placing more significant restrictions on the app has waned in favor of other issues.

TikTok has presented a plan to the U.S. government that it says would help ensure the security of U.S. user data, but it needs to do more to assuage policymakers’ concerns.

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NYC Bans Use of TikTok on City-Owned Phones, Entering Federal Government, Majority of States