If like me you were slightly obsessed with the Ohio Department of Transportation’s TikTok, I’ve got some bad news.
On Sunday, January 8, Governor DeWine signed Executive Order 2023-03D, banning TikTok from all state devices. The Chinese-owned social media app has been under scrutiny by various government officials for years.
In November, the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, told the House Homeland Security Committee at a hearing that the organization had concerns about the app.
Those concerns include “…the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users or control the recommendation algorithm, which could be used for influence operations if they so chose, or to control software on millions of devices, which gives it an opportunity to potentially technically compromise personal devices,” Wray said.
Although TikTok has said that it stores U.S. user data within the U.S., it acknowledged in July that non-U.S. employees have had access to U.S. data. That’s a problem for U.S. officials because Chinese national security laws can force foreign and domestic firms that operate within the country to share their data with the government.
Moments after taking the oath, I signed several executive orders regarding antidiscrimination, youth mentorship, mental health and addiction benefits, workforce development, and the prohibition of certain foreign-owned applications on state-owned electronic devices. pic.twitter.com/ZXCCjOITjY
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) January 8, 2023
All of that brings us to Governor Dewine’s executive order. The order states that the ban is in response to TikTok and other Chinese apps engaging in “surreptitious data privacy and cybersecurity practices to include collecting personal information, behavioral use data, biometric data, and other data contained on the devices of its users.”
DeWine’s ban is one of the few issues that is currently receiving bipartisan support in Washington D.C., with members of Congress and the Biden administration pushing to put a similar ban in place.
With all of that, it’s officially time to say goodbye to the joy that was ODOT’s TikTok account. That means no more bridge demolitions, unique traffic exchanges, and of course, bad driver shading. Right?
Well, not exactly. TikTok might be gone, but you can still follow ODOT’s shenanigans over on their Instagram account.