The University of Texas has blocked access to social platform TikTok on the school’s Wi-Fi networks.
The move comes after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned the application from use on government devices.
“Today, the university blocked TikTok access on our networks,” the university said in an email to students.
“You are no longer able to access TikTok on any device if you are connected to the university via its wired or WIFI networks.”
“The university is taking these important steps to eliminate risks to information contained in the university’s network and to our critical infrastructure,” UT-Austin technology adviser Jeff Neyland added in the email.
“As outlined in the governor’s directive, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where and how they conduct internet activity — and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government.”
TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd. Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray raised national security concerns about the Chinese government’s ability to potentially collect data on users and use the app’s algorithms to “manipulate content” and “use it for influence operations.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the ban of the app on state devices earlier this month. At least 24 other states have taken similar action.
After Murphy banned the platform in his state, he and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox sent a letter to other governors urging them to make the move to ban TikTok as well.