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TikTok banned on House-issued devices

The US House of Representatives members and staff were told to delete the Chinese-owned app from their phones as it was "high risk."

All lawmakers and staff must delete TikTok from House-issued devices "due to a number of security risks," according to an internal memo sent by Catherine Szpindor, the chief administrative officer of the House.

The memo said that representatives and staffers are also barred from downloading the short-video sharing app on House-managed devices after her office found it posed a "high risk" to users.

The House is the latest government body to ban TikTok from being used on official devices. Nineteen states have blocked the app from official devices, with Alabama and Utah among the latest.

Congress voted last week to ban all federal employees from downloading and using the app on government-issued devices. The move was passed as part of the $1.66 billion government funding bill and will come into law once President Joe Biden signs it.

In a statement following the Congress vote, TikTok said it was "disappointed" and described it as "a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests."

Some lawmakers insist TikTok should be banned nationally, arguing it could be used to spy on and censor Americans. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned in November that China could use TikTok to control user data and their devices.

TikTok, owned by a Beijing-based company ByteDance, is estimated to have 130 million users in the US.

The company said in the past that it was not removing TikTok posts in the US at the request of the Chinese government and insisted that US user data was stored outside China.

However, some recent reports suggested that these statements were misleading and that some US user data might have been transferred to China.

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