Purdue University blocked TikTok’s website and app usage on the school’s WiFi’s network Monday night due to data privacy concerns, according to an article from the Purdue Exponent.
According to an article from the Journal & Courier, Purdue students can only access TikTok when not connected to Purdue WiFi’s network or when using cellular data.
Trevor Peters, Senior Communication Specialist at Purdue University, said in an emailed statement that the TikTok ban was placed due to the invasive privacy issues the university claims the app presents. Peters specifically cited concerns regarding the app having access to users’ contacts and geolocations.
[Related: Indiana has blocked TikTok from state devices as of Dec. 7]
“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,” Peters said in the email statement.
Amanda Roach, Interim Director of Strategic Communications at IU, said in an email statement IU will continue to observe how other universities decide to deal with TikTok and the impact of those decisions.
“Our priority remains focused on ensuring that our students, faculty, and staff have access to the resources they need to stay safe online, and protect both personal and university data,” Roach said in the emailed statement.
A January report from The Georgia Institute of Technology commented on the distrust surrounding TikTok. The report detailed that the data collected from social media app could only reach levels of espionage if an individual were involved in national security. However, there have been instances of employees tracking specific individuals’ IP addresses, such as journalists.