LARAMIE (WNE) — The University of Wyoming has banned the social media app TikTok from all UW hardware and internet, following suit after dozens of universities across the country have done the same.
“We are following the governor’s directive,” Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for the university’s institutional communications, said in an email to the Boomerang on Monday.
The ban only applies to state-owned devices and state-operated and -owned networks. It does not apply to personal devices or private cellular plans.
According to an email sent to university staff Monday, TikTok has “come under scrutiny in recent months for its potential to share user data with the Chinese government.”
On Dec. 15, Gov. Mark Gordon issued a memorandum directing TikTok to be removed from all state-issued cell phones, tablets, computers and other technology equipment capable of internet connectivity. In following the directive issued by the governor, the University of Wyoming is requiring all employees to remove TikTok from any university- owned or issued technology equipment immediately. TikTok is now blocked on all university networks.
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“The State of Wyoming is not alone in banning the use of TikTok on government equipment. There are currently at least 21 states that have taken some form of official action against the app,” an email to UW staff from its IT department said. “TikTok is now banned on all federal devices.”
In addition to removing the TikTok app from any University of Wyoming devices, the university encouraged its staff “to exercise caution if you use TikTok on a personal device.”
“TikTok and other social media apps can collect an enormous amount of personal information, and the settings may not adequately protect your privacy,” the email read.