Shelby County, Tenn., latest to ban TikTok on county-issued devices

The Shelby County Board of Commissioners voted to accept a resolution banning TikTok from county-owned devices.
TikTok logo
(Chesnot / Getty Images)

The Shelby County, Tennessee, Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to accept a resolution banning TikTok from county devices and developing a procedure to remove the app from all county-owned and leased devices.

The ban was approved as part of the commission’s consent agenda, and there was no discussion on the resolution from commissioners. The move made Shelby County, which is the seat of Memphis, the first local entity to ban the app in the state.

The resolution, introduced by Commissioner Mick Wright, requests the Shelby County mayor’s administration to prohibit county employees from downloading or using the TikTok application on any county-issued device. It also prohibits persons or entities contracting with the county from downloading or using TikTok on any county-owned or county-leased devices.

It also requires the administration to develop a procedure for the “timely removal” of TikTok from all county-owned and county-leased devices and to develop a policy and procedure providing for public safety and cybersecurity exemptions related to TikTok usage.


The resolution cites growing concerns over ByteDance, the app’s parent company, its proximity to China’s ruling Communist Party and national security risks posed by its data collection of U.S. users. It also cited the $1.7 trillion federal spending package that passed at the end of last year that included a TikTok ban for U.S. government agencies.

Aside from the federal government, states such as South Dakota and Maryland began enacting TikTok bans on government devices at the end of last year, also citing concerns over data privacy.

Now, it seems a county-level push to ban the app is gaining steam. Last week, Orange County, California, banned TikTok from all government-issued devices. Salt Lake County, Utah, also made the decision to ban the app over data concerns earlier this month.

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