TikTok and the latest prohibition on federal employee phones and electronic devices


In June 2023, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) issued an interim rule that extends the ban of TikTok, a Chinese video-sharing app, on federal contractor devices. The rule prohibits the presence and use of the TikTok app when performing a contract. The implementation of the interim rule is based on privacy and cybersecurity concerns raised by the application's parent company, ByteDance, and the Chinese government. Personal devices not utilized in the performance of a contract are not subject to the rule.

The state of Montana has become the first to institute a total ban, even as far as imposing a $10,000 fine for violating the ban. Several countries including the EU, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, have issued varying bans on the TikTok application. The federal government has called for a nationwide ban on the app. TikTok has sued the Attorney General alleging constitutional infringement of the First Amendment rights of TikTok consumers and suggesting it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The issue of the TikTok app surrounds the user’s data and the ability of the app to track a user’s location which may be shared with China. The parent company of TikTok is a Chinese-based company that has the capability of collecting U.S. citizen data. The data collection is alarming when analyzing America's political stance related to China.

Cybersecurity experts surmise that the risk of exposure does not outweigh a user’s desire to watch dancing videos. As technology progresses, the creation of apps that pose a danger to cybersecurity will continue.

Contact the Law Office of Asya Hogue, Esq. at (904) 884-5891. We fight vigorously for our clients no matter the issue. You may also reach out to asya@ahatlaw.com.