WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Citing concerns about cybersecurity and privacy, Purdue is blocking access to TikTok.
The move means students, staff and visitors won’t be able to access the social media app or the TikTok website on Purdue University’s network. It does not include non-university cell, home or public Wi-Fi.
“As a next step to address concerns about cybersecurity risks to user data privacy, algorithmic censorship of free speech, and threats to national security—all as recognized by the U.S. federal government—Purdue has begun blocking access to TikTok.com and the usage of the TikTok mobile app across Purdue networks,” the university said in a statement.
The university described TikTok’s privacy and user agreements as “overly invasive” and expressed concerns about the app’s access to phone data like keystrokes, geolocation and contacts.
The decision arose from a Purdue IT security audit and the desire to “provide further protection for Purdue University systems.” Purdue had previously banned the use of TikTok on university devices.
TikTok has come under fire in recent weeks. Congress grilled the company’s CEO during a hearing last week, with lawmakers expressing concerns about the app’s China-based parent company, ByteDance.
The Biden administration has put pressure on ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company and threatened to ban the app if it fails to do so. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said his chamber would move forward with a bill banning TikTok.