TikTok gets the boot off the Texas campus: The Chinese social media app is banned from the University of Texas campus
- The University of Texas at Austin banned students from using TikTok on campus
- School officials fear the app could share American user data with the CCP
- While the school focuses on safety, students can conceal wearing it on campus
TikTok is locked down at a Texas university to protect the school’s database from the Chinese Communist Party – but students can still carry handguns.
The University of Texas at Austin has barred students from using TikTok on the school’s WiFi network after Gov. Greg Abbott took the initiative last month to ban the social media app on all state agency devices.
While officials guard against data leaks, the school remains lenient when it comes to allowing students to conceal wear under a state law passed in 2016.
Jeff Neyland, the university’s technology advisor, told the Texas Tribune the steps taken to block TikTok are critical to “removing risk.”
“As outlined in the governor’s policy, TikTok collects vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where and how they conduct internet activity — and is offering this treasure trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Neyland said.
The University of Texas at Austin banned students from using TikTok on campus. School officials fear the app could share American user data with the CCP
Texas A&M and the University of Texas at Dallas also plan to ban the app.
Meanwhile, Auburn University in Alabama banned TikTok on campus in December. Some dissatisfied students complained that they couldn’t log into the app in their on-campus dormitories.
“I’m a little annoyed that now every time I want to access the app, I have to use data and find ways to bypass it,” graduate student Elizabeth Hunt told The New York Times.
The school informed students that they had blocked the app to “protect valuable information and reduce the potential cybersecurity threats associated with using TikTok.”
TikTok bans also extended to the University of Oklahoma and Boise State University also banned TikTok on campus.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned the social media app on all state agency devices last month
The app, which has long been a trouble spot for US intelligence agencies, has 85 million American users and is owned by a Chinese company that employs Chinese Communist Party members and has a subsidiary that is partially owned by the CCP.
Members of the US intelligence community have long feared that the Chinese regime could force TikTok to share American user data with the CCP.
Governor Abbott became the latest state leader to ban use of the popular app in December, after Maryland, South Dakota, South Carolina and Nebraska.
Abbott, a Republican, said, “TikTok collects vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity — and is offering this treasure trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government.”
Members of the US intelligence community have long feared that the Chinese regime could force TikTok to share American user data with the CCP
While the campus focuses on security, students are able to conceal wearing despite the state’s recent mass shootings, including in Uvalde last year.
State law, passed in 2016, allows students as young as 21 with a concealed gun license to carry guns in classrooms and buildings throughout the University of Texas system, one of the largest in the country with an enrollment of more than 214,000 students.
The law was amended in 2021 to remove the requirement for a concealed carry certificate.
At the time, Abbott said the law could prevent mass shootings because someone with a licensed concealed weapon on campus might be willing to confront a would-be shooter.