US Army is the latest military branch to ban TikTok

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Catherine Ledner via Getty Images

The Navy isn't the only American military branch clamping down on TikTok. The Army has banned the use of TikTok on government-issued phones, with Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa telling Military.com that it's "considered a cyber threat." The Army started warning soldiers in mid-December, roughly at the same time the Defense Department was telling employees to delete TikTok to "circumvent any exposure of personal information."

As with the Navy ban, the Army is likely concerned that TikTok's Chinese parent company ByteDance could pose problems. While there's no evidence of suspicious activity taking place, ByteDance could theoretically be compelled to forward soldiers' sensitive info to the Chinese government or to recruit soldiers as spies.The company has been eager to fend off such claims, to the point where reports have speculated that it might sell control of TikTok to reassure nervous US officials.

It's not known if the Air Force or Marine Corps have implemented similar policies, although it's likely given coordination between the forces.

None of the services can ban TikTok from personal phones, so this might not wreck soldiers' attempts to document their adventures. However, that still leaves some concerns about security. The Army still asks soldiers to be wary of strange texts, according to Ochoa, but it's ultimately up to the troops to avoid sharing valuable data.