May 18, 2024

UK bans TikTok on government devices


The United Kingdom banned TikTok from official government devices on Thursday, in addition to similar restrictions imposed by allies in Canada, the European Union and the United States.

The social media app is not widely used by officials in the UK, according to the government advertisementBut the action reflects concerns about TikTok’s links to China through its parent company ByteDance, and the possibility of the Chinese government pressuring companies to hand over users’ personal information.

“This is a proportionate step based on an identified risk in government agencies,” Oliver Dowden, UK Cabinet Office minister, told lawmakers on Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday, TikTok expressed its disappointment with the decision.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We believe these bans were based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by broader geopolitical factors, in which TikTok and its millions of users in the UK play no role.” “We remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns but they must be judged on the facts and treated on an equal footing with our competitors.”

The company said it is voluntarily addressing security concerns by taking technical and bureaucratic measures to block US and EU user data from its global operations. It also said it had not received any request from the Chinese government for user information and would resist such calls.

TikTok said in a statement on Thursday: “We have begun implementing a comprehensive plan to further protect our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centers and tightening data access controls, including independent third-party oversight of… Our approach. “.

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The UK announcement comes a day after TikTok said the US government had done so required The company’s Chinese owners are selling their shares or risk being banned.

In December, President Joe Biden signed legislation banning the use of the TikTok application on federal government agencies, joining a list that includes more than half of the US states.

US lawmakers have proposed expanding the Biden administration’s authority to impose a nationwide ban on TikTok. A bipartisan group of senators this month unveiled legislation that would give the Commerce Department broad latitude to review and block technologies linked to foreign adversaries, a proposal quickly welcomed by the White House.