Tallahassee tech expert says Tik Tok ban on state devices is a smart idea

Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 6:13 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV/CNN) - Three U.S. lawmakers are taking aim at the popular social media app Tik Tok.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the platform from operating in the U.S.

Two congressman are are also bringing bipartisan companion legislation before the House.

The lawmakers are concerned about the short-form video app’s parent company ByteDance and its connections with China.

This comes as a handful of states have implemented Tik Tok bans on state-owned devices. Alabama and Utah most recently made the move.

A Georgia state lawmaker announced last week he plans to introduce legislation with the same goal.

There’s no word yet if Florida may follow suit. WCTV reached out to the governor’s office and the Department of Management Services but did not hear back as of Tuesday evening.

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies in Tallahassee. He approves of the move to limit Tik Tok on state-owned devices, arguing it serves as a gateway for the Chinese government to potentially use personal data for espionage.

Another issue is the control over the app’s algorithm, which decides which videos pop up- paving the way for a potential misinformation campaign.

However, Dowling doesn’t believe bans would solve everything.

“There’s no silver bullet to stop all crimes, and by doing this- yes, it’s very important. I’m glad they’re doing it- but is it going to stop everything? No. Because you have ‘bring your own devices’ and those kinds of policies. So it’s not going to stop everything,” he said.

Dowling says it’s a common tendency these days to overshare data, and that’s happening on plenty of other apps besides Tik Tok.

Tik Tok denies it uses data for nefarious purposes, and last week announced the creation of a Trust and Safety Team as it works to win over both users and lawmakers.