University of Florida ‘strongly discouraging’ use of TikTok as officials consider additional steps
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The University of Florida is recommending students and faculty uninstall a social media app over security concerns as university officials consider additional future steps.
The university sent an email explaining its concerns with the app TikTok which is owned by a company based in China. Officials say experts are raising concerns for TikTok as a potential national security concern. They highlight foreign governments’ ability to “control data collection, influence TikTok’s recommendation algorithm, and compromise personal devices.”
The recommendation follows a number of states, including Florida, the federal government, and some other universities restricting the app. University spokesperson Steve Orlando clarified UF has “not banned TikTok” at this time.
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The email sent by UF is as follows:
January 12, 2023
To the University of Florida community:
The University of Florida has been monitoring developments regarding the social media app TikTok, particularly growing concerns over the security risks it poses. As a result, the university is strongly discouraging the use of TikTok.
You may have seen reports that all federal employees will soon be prohibited from using TikTok on government-issued devices. Additionally, 23 states have taken action against TikTok, including Florida, and numerous universities and colleges nationwide are either being required to, or opting to, follow their state's actions.
As the university considers additional future steps, we strongly recommend that everyone discontinue using TikTok and remove the app from their devices. Taking this action will help protect your personal information as well as university data.
The University of Florida continuously evaluates technology vendors and software products and services and maintains a list of approved technologies on UF’s Fast Path solutions website. High-risk software and services that present an unacceptable cybersecurity risk to the university are listed as ‘not permitted for use.’ There is a strong possibility that TikTok will be added in the future to the Fast Path list of software applications not permitted on university devices and networks.
The university treats the protection of UF data – academic records, research, financial information, and other sensitive, personally identifying information – as an institutional priority.
Thank you for doing your part in helping to protect UF.
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