Federal Contracts with TikTok/ByteDance Prohibition

On June 2, 2023, the federal government issued an interim Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) prohibiting the use of TikTok or other ByteDance applications on information technology used in the performance of a federal contract.

  • The rule applies to federal contracts awarded or modified on or after June 2, 2023. The new FAR language will appear in individual contracts.
  • Information technology includes those owned by Government, owned by a contractor (e.g. VU), or owned by the employee (personal devices).
  • When the final rule is issued, some details of the prohibition may be clarified or changed, at which point we will update this guidance.
  • Why was the interim rule issued?

    Per the prohibition, “this interim rule is being implemented as a national security measure to protect Government information and information and communication technology systems.”

  • Does the rule apply to grants?

    No, the ByteDance prohibition currently applies to contracts.

  • What are the ByteDance applications that are prohibited?

    TikTok is prohibited, along with other versions of TikTok (Douyin and TikTok Music) and all software listed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ByteDance#Products

  • Who needs to abide by this rule?

    Anyone performing work on a government contract with the new FAR clause needs to follow the rule. This includes faculty, staff, and students. If your existing contract does not have this FAR clause, a future amendment will include it. 

  • How do I know if my Vanderbilt systems have ByteDance applications?

    You can email cybersecurity@vanderbilt.edu to make sure your Vanderbilt information technology is in compliance and for any other technical questions. 

  • What about my personal devices?

    If you use your personal device to perform work on the federal contract, then you cannot use ByteDance applications on that device. Similarly, if you use ByteDance applications on your personal device, then you cannot use the same device to perform work (including sending/receiving/reading emails, calendaring, etc.) on the federal contract.

  • As a PI on a federal contract subject to the ByteDance prohibition, what should I do?
    • Make sure your study team knows about the rule. 
    • Uninstall ByteDance apps from university owned or personal devices used in performance of federal contract.