UK bans TikTok on public servants’ phones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain announced on Thursday it was banning the Chinese app TikTok from the work phones of its civil servants, a decision taken with immediate effect that follows other Western countries citing security reasons. taken in.

“The protection of sensitive government information must come first, which is why we are banning this app from government devices today. Use of other data-mining apps will be monitored,” Minister of State Oliver Dowden said in a statement.

The app, owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance, could end up with user data falling into the hands of the Chinese government, harming the security interests of Western countries.

The UK government asked the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) to investigate the potential vulnerability of government data to social media applications and the risks involved in accessing and using sensitive information.

The United States, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission have already banned the use of the application on business phones.

TikTok said it was disappointed by the decision and has already started taking steps to protect European user data.

“We believe these bans are based on misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitical considerations in which TikTok and our millions of users in the UK play no role,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Olivier Dowden said government and parliamentary staff would only be able to access apps from a pre-approved list from their work phones.

(Reporting by Muvija M and Kylie McLellan; French edition edited by Lina Golovnya, Kate Enstringer)

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