TikTok banned from House of Representatives devices

TikTok will be banned from all devices managed by the House of Representatives, the chamber’s Chief Administrative Office announced Tuesday.

The agency’s Office of Cybersecurity has "deemed The TikTok mobile application to be a high risk to users due to a number of security risks,” the CAO said in an email.

Staffers “are NOT allowed to download the TikTok app on any House mobile devices” and the app is “NOT allowed on House mobile devices,” the message stated.

“If you have the TikTok app on your House mobile device, you will be contacted to remove it,” the email warned.

Earlier this year the CAO warned that TikTok posed a risk on Capitol Hill because it "actively harvests" biometric data and other sensitive user information. TikTok refuted the claims, writing in a response letter that the advisory contained "factual inaccuracies."

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the new CAO memo.

The $1.7 trillion spending bill that Congress approved last week bans TikTok from all government devices in the face of growing concern among policymakers about the Chinese-owned video app. The legislation has yet to be signed into law by President Joe Biden. 

Another bipartisan bill, introduced in Congress earlier this month, would ban the app for everyone in the U.S. More than a dozen states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices in recent weeks.

Federal officials have long expressed fears that the popular app could be used to spy on Americans, or hoover up their data, and used by Beijing to manipulate people via its video algorithm.

FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier this month said the Chinese government could use TikTok for “influence operations” or to compromise devices.

“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” Wray said during an event at the University of Michigan.

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Martin Matishak

Martin Matishak

is the senior cybersecurity reporter for The Record. Prior to joining Recorded Future News in 2021, he spent more than five years at Politico, where he covered digital and national security developments across Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community. He previously was a reporter at The Hill, National Journal Group and Inside Washington Publishers.