HARRISBURG – Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) introduced a measure today that would prohibit all state-owned devices from downloading and using TikTok. The application presents a high level of cybersecurity risk to the Commonwealth and its digital assets.
“TikTok presents an unacceptable level of cyber espionage, collection of government data, and a threat to personal security,” Phillips-Hill said. “At least 25 other states have addressed this, and Congress prohibited its use across a broad swath of federal agencies and departments. State Treasurer Stacy Garrity has restricted its use within her department. It is time for us to step up and protect Pennsylvania’s sensitive information by banning this app from state-owned devices and networks.”
In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Central Intelligence Agency director Bill Burns shared concerns with the application’s China-based parent company. Burns states the Chinese government can extract the private data of TikTok users and shape the content on the application to suit the interests of Chinese leadership.
Phillips-Hill’s proposal would mandate that all state agencies, departments, and commissions remove the application from state networks. The measure would also require that policies are put in place to prevent application installation, as well as network-based restrictions to prevent its use and access.
Nationally, Republicans and Democrats have called for the social media app to be banned from popular app stores.
Senate Bill 379 was referred to the Senate Communications & Technology Committee for its consideration.