White House sets deadline to delete TikTok off government devices

The White House has set a deadline for all federal agencies to remove the popular short-form video app TikTok from government devices. The move is part of a broader effort to address concerns about potential national security risks posed by Chinese-owned technology companies.

The deadline was announced in a memo issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget, which said that all federal agencies must remove TikTok from government devices by the end of the month. The memo also called on agencies to remove other Chinese-owned apps that have been identified as potential security risks.

TikTok has been at the center of a heated debate over data privacy and national security, with critics accusing the app of sharing user data with the Chinese government. The app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has denied these accusations and has said that it stores user data in the US and Singapore.

Despite these denials, the US government has taken a hard line on TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps. Last year, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would have banned TikTok in the US, but the order was blocked by federal courts. President Biden has since revoked the order, but his administration has continued to scrutinize Chinese-owned apps for potential security risks.

The deadline set by the White House applies only to government devices, and it is unclear whether private companies or individuals will also be required to remove TikTok. However, the memo suggests that federal agencies should take steps to discourage their employees from using TikTok on personal devices as well.

The move is likely to be seen as a further escalation in the ongoing tensions between the US and China over technology and data privacy. It remains to be seen whether other countries will follow the US lead in banning or restricting TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps.