After the federal government took a similar step, a Florida House Republican on Tuesday filed a proposal that would prevent people with government-issued cell phones and other devices from downloading the TikTok social media app.
Rep. Carolina Amesty, R-Windermere, filed the proposal (HB 563) for consideration during the legislative session that will start March 7.
The bill would apply to devices issued by state, local, and regional government agencies. Congress in December approved banning TikTok on federal devices.
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TikTok has drawn scrutiny because of its Chinese ownership and concerns that data could be shared with China’s government.
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass a bill that would ban TikTok on government-issued devices in December.
The Senate action came after North Dakota and Iowa joined a growing number of U.S. states in banning TikTok, owned by ByteDance, from state-owned devices amid concerns that data could be passed on to the Chinese government.
“TikTok raises multiple flags in terms of the amount of data it collects and how that data may be shared with and used by the Chinese government,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.
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The Senate in August 2020 unanimously approved legislation to bar TikTok from government devices. The bill’s sponsor, Republican Senator Josh Hawley, reintroduced it in legislation in 2021.
“TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said previously.
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked the apps’ use in the United States but lost a series of court battles over the measure.
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The U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a powerful national security body, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok because of the fears that U.S. user data could be passed to the Chinese government, though ByteDance has not done so.
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