Committee passes bill that would ban TikTok on state devices

Committee passes bill that would ban TikTok on state devices
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 3:45 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - TikTok could be banned by Kentucky lawmakers on state-owned devices.

Republican state Senator Robby Mills sponsored Senate Bill 20 to remove the video-sharing app on government devices.

Security experts say the social media app could expose user data to the Chinese government.

“It’s a security risk, and sometimes it may just seem like a harmless app,” said Sen. Mills. “A lot of kids use it. My kids are on it and like to watch the videos and everything else, but unfortunately, there are some more devious uses of that device than what you see on the top of the surface.”

Sen. Mills spoke to committee members Wednesday morning about the measure.

“Important information that state government has like social security numbers and things like that of people’s unemployment information that we protect that information the best that we can,” said Sen. Mills.

The wording of the bill indicates that the social media platform could also be banned on state-owned networks, like college campuses, which could impact students who use the app on their personal devices.

Sen. Mills says that won’t be the case.

We asked Sen. mills what this means for the future of other similar programs.

“That ByteDance actually owns some other kind of a chat app, I think we’ll just have to look at those individually,” said Sen. Mills. “I’m not interested in regulating social media. I think when it’s just a proven fact in other states are doing it, the safest thing we can do is get it off all of our devices as well.”

The state has already prohibited TikTok for those employed by the executive branch.

The measure passed unanimously nine to zero.

Sen. Mills says Senate Bill 20 boils down to the safety and security of private data and preventing the possibility of it getting into the wrong hands, like foreign adversary, the Chinese government.

The bill will head to a full vote on the Senate floor sometime in the near future.

A similar bill has also been introduced in the state House.