The ByteDance-owned platform, TikTok, is now banned in the UK from being installed in all government electronic devices, an official press release confirmed. The Cabinet Office calls the ban on TikTok a “precautionary ban” on the Chinese app.
The UK government made the decision after a security review. In the review, the government found that the app could compromise information stored on government devices. It is limited to official devices, the government employees and ministers may still use the app on their personal devices.
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“The security of sensitive government information must come first, so today we are banning this app on government devices,” says Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden. “The use of other data-extracting apps will be kept under review.”
In New Zealand, TikTok will be banned on all devices with access to New Zealand’s parliamentary network by the end of March, said Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero. The Parliamentary Service conducted a security procedure where it found that the app data collection and privacy policies could potentially compromise sensitive information.
The US took a similar decision last December, which prevents downloading TikTok on any government devices. The app is also facing a full ban in the country unless ByteDance sells off TikTok, reports Reuters.
In February, Canada also banned the app from official devices. The same applies to European Parliament’s staff members. The app is also facing a complete ban in India.
Here’s a statement from a TikTok spokesperson via CNBC:
“these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics, in which TikTok and our millions of users in the UK play no part.”
TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, will testify before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23.