The TikTok countdown has begun. On February 28, the White House issued a memorandum requiring federal employees to remove the TikTok application from any government device within 30 days. This memo, which continues a trend across several U.S. states including Texas, is the result of an act passed by Congress that requires the removal of TikTok from any federal information technology. The act is in response to concerns the Chinese government could potentially use the data from TikTok for intelligence gathering on Americans.
The White House Memo covers employees of all federal agencies. In addition, it also covers any technology used by a contractor using federal information technology. If you are a federal contractor using any computer software or technology required by the U.S. government, you have 30 days to remove TikTok.
Exceptions to TikTok’s removal would require federal government approval. The memo notes national security, law enforcement and research as possible exceptions. While there is a process to apply for an exception, it is not considered automatic.
Even if you are not a federal employee or government contractor, the White House memo should serve as an opportunity to define your company’s social media and cell phone policies. A good question to ask is, “Do you want TikTok or other social media apps on your company’s devices?”
Many organizations have found themselves in considerable PR trouble due to lapses in enforcement of social media rules. In today’s world, it has now become a necessity. It should also be noted, excessive use of social media at work has been shown to decrease productivity.
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