' New: FAR Ban on TikTok | JHURA

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New: FAR Ban on TikTok


The United States Government has revised the terms that govern certain research and development contracts to prohibit the presence or use of TikTok and successor applications developed or provided by the owner of TikTok, ByteDance Limited and its subsidiary companies, on all devices that are used to a significant extent in performance of covered research and development contracts.

This “TikTok ban” applies to federally-funded contracts and sub-contracts that are subject to Federal Acquisition Regulations (“FAR”), and generally does not apply to research grants and other awards that lack specified deliverables.

The TikTok ban means that devices purchased with Department of Defense funds, devices purchased with other University funds, and personal devices that are substantially used in the performance of covered contracts may not contain the TikTok application.  Incidental use of a device in the performance of a covered contract does not subject the device to this prohibition.

In order to help researchers understand the application of this new rule, JHU has developed the following FAQs:

General FAQs About the FAR TikTok Ban

To what federal awards does the TikTok ban apply?

Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.204-27 (“FAR Clause”), which bans the downloading of TikTok and related apps on certain devices, applies to certain federal contracts. Grants and other non-contract federal awards are not subject to this FAR Clause.

The federal contracts most likely to be subject to the FAR Clause are funded by the Department of Defense and NASA.  Other federal funders may require compliance with the FAR Clause on specific contracts, and will notify the university in that case.

The FAR Clause prohibits the use or presence of the TikTop app on information technology (“IT”), including computers and cell phones, used in the performance of a covered contract.  The prohibition applies regardless of ownership of the IT, but does not apply to IT that (1) is not used to a “significant extent in” the performance of a covered contract, or (2) is “incidental to” the performance of such a contract.

If you have a question about the applicability of the FAR Clause to a specific contract, please reach out to your grants and contracts associate to discuss further.

I have TikTok downloaded on my personal computer or cell phone. May I continue to occasionally respond to work emails on these devices?

The FAR Clause may apply to personal devices when those devices are used to a significant extent in the performance of a covered contract.  The FAR Clause does not apply when a device is “incidental to” the performance of work on a covered contract.

While the FAR Clause does not define what constitutes “significant” or “incidental” use, using a device to occasionally respond to emails about a covered contract does not trigger the prohibition on TikTok.

What are the penalties for non-compliance with the FAR Clause?

Failure to comply with the FAR Clause may result in the loss of the specific contract at issue, debarment from participation in government contract and research programs, and potentially criminal sanctions.

If you have any questions about whether a specific award is subject to the TikTok ban, please contact your grants or contracts associate, JHURA (jhura@jhu.edu) or ORA (ora@jhmi.edu).


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Research Administration

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Baltimore, MD 21218

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Email: jhura@jhu.eduSend an email to jhura@jhu.edu

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