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TikTok is Banned at All Florida State Universities

After a recent decision by the Florida Board of Governors, universities throughout the state will no longer be permitted to access the well-known app TikTok via campus Wi-Fi or devices that are owned by the school. The University of Florida, Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of South Florida, among other significant universities in the state with hundreds of thousands of students are included in the prohibition.

No one is to use TikTok through the university’s network owing to potential security threats, according to an email sent late on Wednesday to UF workers and students. Use of TikTok in any UF marketing or advertising initiatives is currently prohibited, along with Tencent QQ, WeChat, VKonatke, and Kaspersky. UF also recommended removing these apps from individual devices.

The email stated that taking this action would help protect both your personal information and university data. The emergency regulation was approved on March 29 by the State University System Board of Governors, and the policy complies with that regulation. The rule, which makes use of the State University System’s list of prohibited technologies, demands that UF immediately delete apps like TikTok from all university-owned devices and prevent network traffic from these sites.

The email stated that the university places a high focus on safeguarding UF data, including student records, financial data, and other sensitive, personally identifying information. TikTok is a short-form video-sharing software that lets users record and modify the material. It is owned and run by the Beijing, China-based business ByteDance. Congressmen discussed the app’s potential negative effects at a session two weeks ago.

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In an earlier email addressed to students and faculty on Jan. 12, UF discouraged the usage of TikTok and urged that the software be deleted from all devices because of privacy concerns. Nonetheless, they claimed they planned to continue using it and stated they thought the administration had overreacted.

UF President Ben Sasse stated in February at a gathering in Daytona Beach that China could shut down “large sections of the U.S. economy” if they decided to exploit user data obtained. Sasse addressed the gathering and said, “Shout out to all of those who think TikTok is anything other than a weapon of the Chinese government,” noting his history of supporting legislation that limits what apps may do.

These are fictitious commercial organizations that are governed by Chinese national security laws to collect ever-increasing amounts of big data. No evidence has yet been offered that the software is run by the Chinese government to collect users’ data. The conditions of the contract are comparable to those of other well-known apps like Instagram and Snapchat.

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Yet, in the email that UF sent out, the school claims that the social media app has been called out as a national security risk by experts, who fear that foreign governments may use it to “manage data gathering, influence TikTok’s recommendation algorithm and infiltrate personal devices.”

“We firmly advise everyone to stop using TikTok and delete the app from their devices as the university considers additional future steps. Elias Eldayrie, vice president and chief information officer at UF, noted that taking this action will assist protect both your personal information and university data.


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