New York City bans TikTok on government devices

17 Aug 2023

Image: © rootstocks/

The move to ban the app from official devices has affected many city accounts, including that of New York City mayor Eric Adams.

New York City has become the latest jurisdiction to ban the TikTok app on government devices.

In a statement yesterday (16 August), the city’s mayoral office said that the app poses a “security threat to the city’s technical networks” and that agencies of the New York City government must remove the app within 30 days.

As a result of the ban, employees of the city government will lose access to the app and website on official devices and networks.

The TikTok account of New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who has more than 11,600 followers on the platform, has an updated bio that reads: “This account was operated by NYC until August 2023. It’s no longer monitored.”

A growing number of US jurisdictions have banned TikTok for official devices. Several federal agencies and more than two dozen US states have restricted access to TikTok from government devices due to security concerns over the app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, which is headquartered in Beijing.

In May, Montana became the first US state to issue a full ban on the app. In response, TikTok moved to sue Montana in a bid to prevent the ban coming into effect next year.

All members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US, have banned the popular social media app on government devices.

Similar moves have been taken by the European Commission and France, while the Irish Government was advised to not have the app on work devices.

US lawmakers have also threatened to issue a full ban on TikTok unless ByteDance sells its shares in the US version of the app.

A TikTok spokesperson told in March that a change in ownership isn’t a security solution as it “would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access”.

The social media giant is currently working on two initiatives, Project Texas and Project Clover, in a bid to ease concerns in the US and EU about TikTok’s data security practices.

A recent survey by Reuters and Ipsos found that close to half of US adults support a ban on TikTok due to national security concerns. According to TikTok, the app currently has more than 150m users in the US.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic