Gov. Kemp bans TikTok from all state devices, systems citing national security concerns

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp issued an order Thursday banning TikTok on all state-issued cellphones and laptops.

The governor says the popular social media app is a security risk.

There are an estimated 1 billion users of TikTok around the world, but here in the U.S., there are increasing fears that user data could wind up in the hands of the Chinese government.

The U.S. Senate banned its use on government devices, and on Thursday Kemp banned its use on state government devices.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot obtained the memo sent out to all state employees Thursday from Kemp, saying that he is making the move to ban TikTok from all state phones, laptops and other devices.

In the memo, Kemp cites worries about the “Chinese Communist Party’s involvement with TikTok and the resulting threat that TikTok poses to government cybersecurity.”

He’s not alone. The federal government is worried that user data from TikTok could wind up in the hands of the Chinese government through its influence over TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.


“The state of Georgia has a responsibility,” Kemp wrote, “to prevent any attempt to access and infiltrate it’s secure data and sensitive information by foreign adversaries.”

“It’s not for me. It’s for the kids. I mean, it’s not me,” Antoine Green told Elliot.

TikTok is no big deal for Green, but it is for billions of other users around the planet.

And it’s a big deal for Xavier Huggins Jones.

“I mean, TikTok is for kids. It’s kid friendly. I mean, it’s adult friendly. It’s teenage friendly. It’s for all ages,” Huggins Jones said.

Huggins Jones said he has two TikTok accounts and uses them to interview and highlight artists, including musicians around metro Atlanta.

While he admits he’s thought about the rumors of TikTok making his personal information more vulnerable, he usually dismisses it and tries to find ways to use it to become an entrapper.

“Kind of, but I’m not worried about it to be honest though, because I haven’t had no problems with that, like, at all. And I’ve had TikTok downloaded on my phone for like two years now,” Huggins Jones said.

State Sen. Jason Anavitarte, who earlier this month said he wants legislation banning TikTok altogether, applauded the governor’s action saying it will protect our state against threats to national security.