Gavin Newsom holds on to TikTok account after most states and Congress banned the Chinese-owned app

California Governor Gavin Newsom is still holding on to his TikTok account as a growing number of red and blue states across the country are at least partially banning the app.

Congress banned the use of TikTok on federal government devices in the omnibus bill that President Biden signed into law weeks ago due to security concerns voiced by both Republicans and Democrats.

The US military has also banned TikTok on military devices, and more than half of the country’s states have passed laws prohibiting the video-sharing app from being downloaded to state devices.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. Critics say the Chinese government could access user data such as browsing history and location, as well as push communist propaganda to through the app.

US President Joe Biden (left) listens to California Governor Gavin Newsom deliver remarks after observing storm damage and speaking with those affected in Seacliff, California on January 19. of 2023.
(Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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Fears surrounding the popular social networking site rose after a report last year that a TikTok team in China accessed data from American TikTok users, including two journalists.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in California have introduced bills that would restrict TikTok on state-issued devices.

California State Senate Republican Leader Brian Jones and Democratic State Senator Bill Dodd have introduced legislation that would ban state employees from downloading social media apps like TikTok that are tied to a “country of interest.”

Photo of a person on TikTok.  The app tracks all your personal information.

Photo of a person on TikTok. The app tracks all your personal information.
(FoxNews)

Dodd told KCRA that while Newsom likely does not have state-issued devices, his staff members who manage his accounts probably do.

“I say bad luck,” Dodd said. “It’s up to you to protect people’s data; we all have a responsibility.”

Jones said she hopes Newsom deactivates her accounts.

“I hope the governor follows the Senate’s lead and deactivates his account as well,” Jones told CBS 8, “until we can trust these issues to be fixed.”

Newsom’s office responded to the outlet saying, “We have our experts reviewing the issue, but nothing to share beyond that at this time.”

US President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom walk for remarks after looking at storm damage and speaking with those affected in Seacliff, California on January 19, 2023. .

US President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom walk for remarks after looking at storm damage and speaking with those affected in Seacliff, California on January 19, 2023. .
(Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

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The governor’s press office did not respond to a query from Fox News Digital about whether the governor accessed TikTok on state-owned devices, believes there are security issues associated with TikTok, or plans to delete his accounts in the future.

Newsom’s official “gavinnewsom” and “cagovernor” TikTok accounts have a combined 432,000 followers. One of the governor’s most recent videos showed him criticizing “red state politicians” for their alleged “authoritarianism.”

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California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in San Francisco, California.

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a press conference in San Francisco, California.
((Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images))

It’s not that Newsom is averse to banning things he considers harmful. In 2020, he announced a ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035 in an effort to combat climate change. In 2021, he announced a ban on the sale of new gas-powered lawn equipment by 2024 and signed a law that prohibits large retailers from not including a gender-neutral aisle for children’s toys.

While the effort to restrict TikTok has been bipartisan, Democrats still largely use the app on their personal devices. A recent analysis by States Newsroom found that at least 32 members of Congress, all Democrats and one independent, as of early January had TikTok accounts, and at least half of those members “currently sit on or have previously served on committees that deal with foreign affairs”. , the US military, investigations and national security”.

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To avoid sweeping US bans, TikTok reportedly offered to increase its transparency by giving US officials oversight of its algorithms as part of a $1.5 billion reorganization of its US operations.

Breck Dumas of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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