Tik Tok banned on government devices in New Zealand: Report

The New York Times reported that after the United States, the UK and New Zealand became the latest Western countries to ban Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok on “government equipment”.

The UK on Thursday announced a ban on TikTok with immediate effect, citing security fears linked to the ownership of the video-sharing app by a Chinese company.

Speaking in parliament, Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, described the ban as “precautionary”, even though the United States, the executive branch of the European Union, Canada and India had already taken similar steps.

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

After COVID-19, TikTok has attracted the most suspicion because of its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance.

Britain’s actions reflect fears expressed in a variety of Western governments that TikTok could be sharing sensitive data from devices used by politicians and senior officials with the government in Beijing.

The ban was announced on Thursday after Britain announced a toughening of the policy. On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described China as an “epic challenge” to the international order.

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

In a statement on Thursday, TikTok said it was disappointed by the British government’s decision, adding that the ban imposed on it was “based on fundamental misunderstandings and driven by broad geopolitics.” It said it was taking steps to protect the data of British users.

Several British government departments, including the country’s Ministry of Defence, have TikTok accounts as part of their public outreach, and as recently as a day ago, Michelle Donnellan, secretary of state for science, innovation and technology, said the app was a great tool for the British people. was safe for to use.

“In terms of the general public, it is entirely a personal choice, but because we have some of the strongest data protection laws in the world, we are confident that the public can continue to use it,” he told MPs in parliament.

Earlier, the US had threatened to ban TikTok from the country unless the app’s Chinese owner agreed to divest its part of the social media platform, TikTok acknowledged on Wednesday evening.

In response to that message, Shou Zi Chew, TikTok’s chief executive, said separating the company from its Chinese owners — a move the US is now demanding — added to the multibillion-dollar plan the company has already proposed. Doesn’t provide protection, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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