As national security concerns about TikTok mount, the University of Florida on Thursday sent an email to all members of the campus community “strongly discouraging” using the application and recommending they remove it from their devices due to security concerns.
The message said there is a “strong possibility” that TikTok will soon be added to a list of nonpermitted software applications that can be used on campus devices or networks.
“The university treats the protection of UF data — academic records, research, financial information, and other sensitive, personally identifying information — as an institutional priority,” the email said. “Thank you for doing your part in helping to protect UF.”
The email said experts continue to look at “the possibility that foreign governments may use TikTok to control data collection” as well as biometric information like faceprints and voiceprints. Recently, all federal employees were told they would not be permitted to use the app.
The UF email said 23 states, including Florida, have taken action against TikTok. “Numerous universities and colleges nationwide are either being required to, or opting to, follow their state’s actions,” the email said.
A university spokesperson said the guidance was an independent decision made by UF.
In the past, the university has used TikTok as a branding tool. Kent Fuchs, the outgoing president, occasionally made cameos on the app.