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Emory to block ByteDance, TikTok on business IT networks starting April 22
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In response to new federal regulations, Emory University will begin blocking TikTok and other applications developed by ByteDance, an internet technology company based in China, on all Emory business networks effective Monday, April 22, 2024.

The block is part of broader university-wide efforts led by the Emory Office of Research Administration to comply with a recent federal rule that affects individuals conducting research or other projects under certain government contracts.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR 52.204-27) clause prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors (awardees of federal funding) from having or using the social networking application TikTok or any “successor application” developed by ByteDance on any computer, mobile phone or electronic device used or provided by the contractor in the performance of a covered government contract.

Here is what faculty, staff, students and campus visitors need to know:

  • Effective April 22, 2024, TikTok and ByteDance applications will be blocked at a network level on all Emory business networks, including Emory Healthcare networks.
  • Emory student and guest networks will not be affected by the block. External cellular networks will also be unaffected.
  • Individual faculty and staff may request exemptions to access ByteDance/TikTok for approved Emory academic or business purposes. Exemptions require leadership approval and will be granted on a best-effort basis by Emory’s Office of Information Technology (OIT).
  • Individuals do not need to uninstall ByteDance/TikTok from their devices unless they perform work related to covered federal contracts.

There are additional requirements for individuals working on covered federal contracts: 

  • Not all federal projects are covered under the FAR clause. Individuals with affected projects at Emory will be contacted by the Office of Research Compliance and Regulatory Affairs or the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to sign attestations of compliance.
  • For these individuals to comply with the regulation, TikTok and other ByteDance applications must be uninstalled on institutionally owned and managed devices used to conduct federal research or projects covered under the clause. This directive applies to personally owned devices when they are used to conduct Emory business in conjunction with applicable federally funded projects.
  • If you have questions about whether your work is covered under the FAR clause, please contact your principal investigator (PI) or other leader managing the contract.

For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions and details on how to request an exemption, please visit the TikTok Guidance for Emory University Compliance webpage.

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