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What universities ban TikTok?

Universities across the country are banning the app on university-run networks, alleging security concerns.

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Social media has increasingly become a way for universities to connect with students and increase recruitment and retention numbers. 

However, worries about privacy and information security have made universities block access to TikTok on campus networks and suspend institution-run accounts. Such measures have been in accordance with and followed by governors’ policies doing the same at state level. 

Last week in Montana, Clayton Christian, the state Commissioner of Higher Education, directed all campuses in the Montana University System to block access to TikTok on university-run networks and to suspend all university-run TikTok accounts — according to Montana Free Press.

The new policy will be effective Jan. 20. 

In December, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte banned TikTok on all state-owned devices and state-run networks and for state employees conducting official business. Alleging security concerns, the ban aims to protect the privacy of the state and its citizens by harvesting user data by the TikTok owner, ByteDance Ltd., added Montana Free Press

“TikTok may not be installed or used on any MUS or university-owned devices, including but not limited to desktop computers, laptops, iPads or cellular telephones,” Christian wrote. “If TikTok is currently installed on any MUS or university-owned device, the application must be immediately removed from the device.”

On the other side of the country, in Alabama, another institution was a pioneer in the ban movement. In December, Auburn University blocked TikTok for all students and faculty on campus. Similar to Montana, the case in Alabama happened after Gov. Kay Ivey banned the app for all government agencies and networks.

Gov. Ivey said the policy was to prevent having sensitive information infiltrated by the Chinese government. 

When Auburn University implemented the policy, other public-funded institutions were expected to follow the decision — and we are now seeing it happen. 

Other states, including Maryland, Wisconsin, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, and Nebraska, have also all banned state employees or contractors from accessing the app on state-owned devices, according to Insider

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