The move aims to eliminate risks to information in the university's network and critical infrastructure.
TikTok Harvests Data, Poses Cybersecurity Risk
According to Jeff Neyland, UT-Austin technology adviser, TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users' devices, including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity.
It offers this trove of potentially sensitive data information to the Chinese government. This poses a significant cybersecurity risk which prompted the university to take this step to protect its networks and infrastructure.
Ban Impacts on Student Recruitment
The ban could have broad impacts, particularly at universities serving college-age students, a key demographic that uses the app. University admissions departments have used it to connect with prospective students, and many athletics departments have used TikTok to promote sporting events and teams.
It also needs to be clarified how the ban will impact faculty who research the app or professors who teach in areas such as communications or public relations. TikTok is a heavily used medium.