COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The University of Texas has banned TikTok on school Wi-Fi, and some are wondering if Ohio schools are next.
Like Texas, Ohio banned TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps on electronic devices used by government employees earlier this year. Cyber security consultant Dave Hatter claims officials in China can get access to your personal information through TikTok.
“TikTok is owned by a Chinese company. All of your data is going back to China,” said Hatter. “In China, they have a law that says any company that operates in China has to provide any information that the Chinese government wants at any time.”
Hatter said this means your sensitive information could end up in the wrong hands and create a security risk for the U.S.
“They aggressively collect your data because at the end of the day you are their product, not their customer. They don’t make this software free because they are just nice people,” Hatter said. “They make it free because they want your data.”
No Ohio universities have followed in the University of Texas’ footsteps, but Hatter thinks they should. NBC4 spoke to students at the Ohio State University, and they don’t think TikTok should be blocked on campus Wi-Fi.
“I don’t feel like it’s any worse than anything else is. There are other apps that are probably just as bad,” said one student.
“There’s probably really nothing that severe if there is any, which there probably is, but it’s never really affected me,” said another student.
However, some said TikTok seems to know a little too much about what they like. One OSU student said most videos he sees on the app seem to be tailored to his specific interests.
“I am also very paranoid about the security risk of that because it’s just like this is too good, you know what I mean?” he said.
A spokesperson from Ohio State tells NBC4 that Governor DeWine’s TikTok ban has no effect on campus, and students and staff can still access the app on OSU’s Wi-Fi.