US, UK and New Zealand ban TikTok on government devices over safety concerns
The United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand banned TikTok, a short-form video-hosting social media platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, on government devices over security concerns.
Earlier this month, the Joe Biden administration gave orders to all government agency staff to delete TikTok from federal devices and systems within 30 days over data security concerns. The U.S. federal government is reportedly worried about the site’s ability to hoover up sensitive user data of the government.
On Thursday, Oliver Dowden, a British politician who is serving as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, announced plans to ban TikTok on government corporate devices.
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said in a press statement, “We are banning this app on government devices. The use of other data-extracting apps will be kept under review.”
Earlier, the European Commission also banned employees from installing TikTok on corporate devices, citing security concerns. It expressed concern that the data from TikTok could be sent to Chinese authorities.
New Zealand also announced plans to ban TikTok on government corporate devices over cybersecurity concerns. New Zealand expressed concern over the Chinese government’s potential to access users’ contact data through ByteDance. Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said the decision was taken over cybersecurity concerns.
Canada also asked its government officials not to use the TikTok app over security reasons. Taiwan and Afghanistan have also banned the popular app.
According to the US FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and Federal Communications Commission, Bytedance could share the users’ data with the Chinese authorities.
TikTok told the Wall Street Journal that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (Cfius) asked the social media company’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, to sell their stakes. The US also threatened to ban TikTok in the country.