TikTok will be banned on government devices in New Zealand: report -Dlight News

TikTok Now Banned From Work Phones in Belgium Citing Security Risk

After the US, Britain and New Zealand became the latest western countries to ban Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok on “government devices” citing security concerns, the New York Times reported.

The United Kingdom on Thursday announced it would ban TikTok with immediate effect, citing security concerns surrounding a Chinese company’s ownership of the video-sharing app.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, described the ban as “precautionary” before Parliament, although the United States, the executive branch of the European Union, Canada and India had already taken similar steps.

According to Dowden, social media apps collect and store massive amounts of user data, including contacts, user content, and geolocation data on government devices, which the New York Times said can be sensitive.

In the wake of COVID-19, TikTok has drawn more suspicion than most because of its owner, Chinese company ByteDance.

Britain’s measures echo fears expressed by a variety of western governments that TikTok could share sensitive data from devices used by politicians and senior officials with the government in Beijing.

The ban was announced on Thursday following the announcement of tightening policy in the UK. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday described China as an “epochal challenge” to the international order.

The new order applies only to government officials’ official work phones and was described by Dowden as a proportionate approach to addressing a potential government data vulnerability, the New York Times reported.

In a statement on Thursday, TikTok said it was disappointed with the UK government’s decision, saying the bans imposed on it “are based on fundamental misunderstandings and are driven by broader geopolitics.” It added that it was taking steps to protect UK users’ data.

Several UK government agencies have TikTok accounts as part of their outreach work, including the country’s MoD, and just a day ago Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, said the app was safe for Brits to use.

“In terms of the general public, it’s absolutely a personal choice, but because we have the strongest data protection laws in the world, we’re confident the public can continue to use them,” she told lawmakers in Parliament.

Earlier, the US had threatened to ban TikTok from the country unless the app’s Chinese owners agree to spin off their stake in the social media platform, TikTok confirmed Wednesday night.

In response to the news, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said selling the company from its Chinese owners — a move the US is now demanding — offers no more protection than a multi-billion-dollar plan the company already has suggested Wall The street paper reports.

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