Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Mich. Gov. Whitmer Shrugs Off TikTok Spying Concerns as Other Rush to Ban

'We don’t do it because it’s fun, although some people think what I put out there can be fun on occasion…'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Michigan’s Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer came to the defense of the social-media platform TikTok, despite the fact that more than 60% of U.S. states and the federal government have prohibited its use on official devices out of concerns for Chinese espionage.

CNN host Jake Tapper opened the segment by saying he deleted the platform on his personal device, according to the Daily Wire.

He then pressed the governor on why she continues to use Tiktok amid bipartisan consensus based on FBI briefings that youth-friendly app is feeding the Chinese Communist Party information about American citizens.

“We use TikTok on one device that has nothing else on it,” Whitmer responded.

“It is a communication tool,” she continued. “We don’t do it because it’s fun, although some people think what I put out there can be fun on occasion… But the point is, we have it on one device that has no access to anything else, because so many people get their information that way.”

Whitmer continued, arguing that TikTok is a useful way to disseminate information. She insisted that state officials “are protecting data in Michigan,” and that “the way [they] use it is secure.”

After Tapper pressed her by pointing out that the platform has seemingly devastating effects on American youth, Whitmer conceded that young people must realize that TikTok is not a reliable source of information.

“We need to have some congressional measures taken to ensure that there is some integrity in it,” she said. “But, also, we got to teach our kids that this is not a real robust offering of information, for you to distill and make your own decisions.”

Legislators in 32 of the 50 states have moved towards partial or total bans on state-owned devices. Government leaders all cited the app’s invasive data permissions requests—found in the terms and conditions—for the security risks it could pose.

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