BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Last week Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced that he plans to ban TikTok from state department-issued devices, including phones and laptops.

“This is about protecting our constituent’s personal identified data,” said Joel Watson, deputy secretary of state for outreach services.

Watson said the FBI believes TikTok may pose a security risk.

“The data used in TikTok can be manipulated, used to manipulate users, and also is going to some nefarious people like the Chinese communist party,” he said.

TikTok provided the following statement:

“We’re disappointed that so many states are jumping on the political bandwagon to enact policies that will do nothing to advance cybersecurity in their states and are based on unfounded falsehoods about TikTok. TikTok is loved by millions of Americans, and it is unfortunate that the many state agencies, offices, universities, student groups, and sports teams in those states will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and share information.  
We are continuing to work with the federal government to finalize a solution that will meaningfully address any security concerns that have been raised at the federal and state level. These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies—plans that we are well underway in implementing—to further secure our platform in the United States, and we will continue to brief lawmakers on them.”

Jamal Brown
TikTok Communications

Louisiana Republican lawmaker Daryl Deshotel said officials have been waiting on the Biden administration to create a deal with TikTok that would move servers from China to America. However, he said something needs to be done in the meantime.

“It’s a security issue,” said Deshotel. “Basically, the Chinese government could track every one of these users and know where all of these citizens are at one given time. Which is, when you think about this, it’s really disturbing.”

Tiktok officials said they are working with the federal government to finalize a solution that will address security concerns.

TikTok adds that another measure they are looking into is forming a “proxy” board, which would run the app’s United States data security division and would not be influenced by Bytedance.
Officials believe the proposed measures from the company could be part of a deal with the U.S., that would allow Bytedance to maintain its ownership.

The Louisiana Secretary of State is now asking the governor to follow the ban. As of Dec. 26, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has yet to green-light the TikTok ban. A handful of U.S. governors have already done so.