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University System bans TikTok following privacy, national security concerns

TikTok’s presence within the Montana University System has all but vanished on Tuesday. That’s when the Commissioner of Higher Education, Clay Christian, issued a directive barring the immensely popular video sharing app from any university-owned devices or networks.

The directive follows widespread concerns that the popular short form video app poses significant privacy and national security risks.

Christian also ordered existing TikTok apps and accounts on those devices to be immediately deleted. All campus affiliated and active TikTok accounts are now suspended. However, students and staff can still access it on their personal devices, but only by using their own cellular data.

Exceptions to the sweeping directive will be considered on a case-by-case basis for education, or research-related purposes.

A growing number of college campuses are also blocking TikTok. TikTok’s days within the Montana University System were widely considered numbered since early January. That’s when Gov. Greg Gianforte urged university officials to follow the state’s example in banning the app from state networks.

At least two dozen other states have taken similar action as well.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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