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UK bans TikTok app on government devices

United Kingdom minister Oliver Dowden says the government will ban the use of TikTok on government devices.

March 17, 2023
17 March 2023

The United Kingdom says it will ban TikTok on government phones with immediate effect, a move that follows other countries who have barred the Chinese-owned video app over security concerns.

TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny due to fears that user data from the app owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining the security interests of other countries.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has been reviewing whether TikTok should be barred from government phones while the United States, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission have already banned the app.

Cabinet office minister Oliver Dowden told parliament government devices would only be able to access third party apps from a pre-approved list.

“We are also going to ban the use of TikTok on government devices, we will do so with immediate effect,” he said.

The ban does not include personal devices and there would be limited exemptions where TikTok is required on government devices for operational reasons, Dowden added.

“This is a proportionate move based on a specific risk with government devices.”

TikTok said it was disappointed with the government’s decision,

“We believe these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics, in which TikTok, and our millions of users in the UK, play no part,” a spokesman for the app said.

with AP

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