UK bans TikTok on authorities units over safety considerations

Issued on:

Britain stated on Thursday it could ban TikTok on authorities telephones with fast impact, a transfer that follows different Western international locations in barring the Chinese language-owned video app over safety considerations.

TikTok has come beneath rising scrutiny as a result of fears that person knowledge from the app owned by Beijing-based firm ByteDance may find yourself within the fingers of the Chinese language authorities, undermining Western safety pursuits.

“The safety of delicate authorities data should come first, so at present we’re banning this app on authorities units. Using different data-extracting apps will likely be stored beneath assessment,” Cupboard Workplace minister Oliver Dowden stated in a press release.

The British authorities had requested the Nationwide Cyber Safety Centre to have a look at the potential vulnerability of presidency knowledge from social media apps and dangers round how delicate data might be accessed and used.

The USA, Canada, Belgium and the European Fee have already banned the app from official units.

“Proscribing the usage of TikTok on authorities units is a prudent and proportionate step following recommendation from our cyber safety consultants,” Dowden stated.

TikTok stated it was disenchanted with the choice and had already begun taking steps to additional defend European person knowledge.

“We consider these bans have been based mostly on elementary misconceptions and pushed by wider geopolitics, by which TikTok, and our tens of millions of customers within the UK, play no half,” a TikTok spokesperson stated.

China stated the choice was based mostly on political issues relatively than info.

The transfer “interferes with the traditional operations of related corporations within the UK and can finally solely hurt the UK’s personal pursuits”, its embassy in London stated in a press release.

Dowden informed parliament authorities units would now solely be capable of entry third social gathering apps from a pre-approved listing.

The TikTok ban doesn’t the embrace private units of presidency workers or ministers and there can be restricted exemptions the place TikTok was required on authorities units for work functions, he added.

British authorities departments and ministers have been more and more utilizing TikTok and different platforms to speak with voters.

Power Minster Grant Shapps stated the ban on authorities units was wise, however he would keep on the platform on his private cellphone.

He posted a clip from the film “Wolf of Wall Road” by which Leonardo DiCaprio’s character says “I am not f****** leaving”, and “The present goes on”.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence posted a video on the platform shortly earlier than the ban was introduced exhibiting how the British military was coaching Ukrainian forces to make use of the Challenger 2 battle tank.