PHOENIX—The Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AAGO) has banned the use of the social media platform TikTok on all computers, mobile phones, and tablets owned by the office. Attorney General Kris Mayes made the announcement today, citing concerns over the app’s potential security risks. The app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has been criticized by U.S. officials for its data collection practices and its potential to be used as a tool for espionage by foreign governments.
“Data security is paramount, especially for government agencies that handle sensitive information,” said Attorney General Mayes. “We cannot risk the potential exposure of our data to foreign entities. Banning TikTok on state-owned devices is a necessary measure to protect our operations, and I urge other state agencies to take the same proactive steps to safeguard their data.”
Attorney General Mayes added that she was not reassured by recent testimony given by the CEO of TikTok to a Congressional panel. “Given the inability of TikTok’s CEO to definitively state that the Chinese government cannot access data collected from U.S. users, I remain unconvinced that the app’s security risks have been adequately addressed,” said Attorney General Mayes.
Attorney General Mayes announced the ban in an email to AAGO employees earlier this week. Notices were also sent to state agencies represented by the AAGO alerting them to this action and encouraging them to take similar precautions.
The ban does not apply to privately-owned devices used by AAGO employees.