State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, has introduced a bill that would ban certain social media apps from state-owned or state-issued devices such as cellphones after a significant data breach occurred in December.
With Senate Bill 74, Dodd seeks to prohibit use on state devices of “high-risk” apps such as TikTok, which has raised concern among authorities such as FBI Director Christopher Wray, who warned that the Chinese-owned company could pose a cybersecurity threat and be used for espionage.
In December, a ban on high-risk social media apps such as TikTok on federal devices went into effect.
“Social media apps are ubiquitous in our daily lives,” Dodd said in a statement, “but there is growing concern about information theft and data collection that comes with their use.”
Dodd said he was concerned about “bad actors” accessing state-associated devices to get to sensitive information or tracking data, as well as the risk of data breaches.
Dodd’s office said that the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) revealed a cybersecurity incident in the Department of Finance. OES released a statement about the issue in December but declined to give specifics, other than to say that it was a cybersecurity “intrusion” significant enough to mobilize multiple public and private agencies, from the California Highway Patrol to the California Military Department, which oversees the National Guard.
According to Dodd, a global ransomware group was behind the intrusion and stole 76 gigabytes of data.
Dodd already has the support of the Consumer Federation of California, which “welcomes a comprehensive approach to this issue,” according to executive director Robert Herrell.