UK and New Zealand bans TikTok on govt devices

Governments have expressed concerns that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, may endanger sensitive user data.

In recent months, lawmakers in the United States, Europe and Canada have escalated efforts to restrict access to TikTok, the massively popular short-form video app that is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, citing security threats.

Lawmakers and regulators in the West have increasingly expressed concern that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, may put sensitive user data, like location information, into the hands of the Chinese government. They have pointed to laws that allow the Chinese government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens for intelligence-gathering operations. They are also worried that China could use TikTok’s content recommendations for misinformation.

Chinese video-sharing app TikTok is once again facing backlash in two different continents due to security concerns. Within 24 hours, the UK and New Zealand banned TikTok on the phones of the parliamentarian.

The ban brings the UK and New Zealand in line with the US, Canada, the European Union (EU), and also India – which banned TikTok entirely from the country.

Meanwhile, China has accused the US of spreading false information about TikTok’s potential security ri

According to the US FBI and Federal Communications Commission, TikTok parent company Bytedance could share the user data of the application–such as browsing history, location, and biometric identifiers — with China’s authoritarian government.

In 2017, China implemented a law, requiring companies to give the government any personal data relevant to the country’s national security. There’s no evidence that TikTok has turned over such data, but fears abound due to the vast amount of user data it collects.

During the Covid pandemic, the Central government banned TikTok and dozens of other Chinese applications over privacy and security concerns. The ban came shortly after the Galwan clash in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. The ban was made permanent in 2021.

The US government has given 30-day time to its government agencies to uninstall the app from their devices. The ban will apply only to US lawmakers.

Canada has also asked its government officials not to use TikTok app because it presents an “unacceptable” risk to privacy and security.

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