Arizona Gov. Hobbs bans TikTok on state devices

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs on Wednesday issued an executive order, restricting the use of TikTok on state-owned devices.

"This is a necessary step to ensure the protection of state data and reflects our commitment to keeping Arizonans safe," Hobbs wrote in a news release. "My office is working closely with state entities to ensure this transition happens smoothly."

State agencies have 30 days to be in compliance with the governor's order. They will also be allowed to apply for exemptions from the ban.

Hobbs' ban on Tiktok comes as U.S. officials grow increasingly worried that the owner of the popular social media platform, Beijing-based ByteDance, might give browsing history or other data about users to China’s government or promote propaganda and disinformation. The U.S. and other nations have banned TikTok from government-owned devices, as have several states.

Most recently, Arizona universities announced a TikTok ban on school-managed devices.

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment, part of Biden's Treasury Department, has threatened to ban TikTok if ByteDance doesn't sell its stake in the app, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

ByteDance says it's working to address security concerns and has plans to route traffic through servers owned by Oracle, a Silicon Valley-based tech company.

Arizona AG Mayes also issues Tiktok ban

Citing concerns over potential security risks, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes announced on April 5 she has banned the use of TikTok on all computers, mobile phones, and tablets owned by the agency.

"Data security is paramount, especially for government agencies that handle sensitive information," Mayes said. "We cannot risk the potential exposure of our data to foreign entities. Banning TikTok on state-owned devices is a necessary measure to protect our operations, and I urge other state agencies to take the same proactive steps to safeguard their data."

Mayes added that she is not reassured by Tiktok CEO Shou Zi Crew's recent testimony to U.S. lawmakers. Mayes' ban does not apply to privately-owned devices used by employees of the attorney general's office.

"Given the inability of TikTok’s CEO to definitively state that the Chinese government cannot access data collected from U.S. users, I remain unconvinced that the app’s security risks have been adequately addressed," said Mayes.