TikTok, the popular Chinese social media app, has been banned in several countries over security concerns. Government workers in the U.S., Canada and the EU must delete the app from their work phones because TikTok may pose a privacy and security risk.
Suspicion: the state is listening in
TikTok’s collection methods could enable the Chinese state to gain access to government information. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that banning Tik Tok on work phones is an important measure to ensure the safety of Canadians.
The EU Commission has also announced that it will ban TikTok on work phones. The app must also be removed there by March 15 from private devices on which EU officials have previously used the app. In Germany, the app has been banned on service phones of federal officials for some time, while Italy may follow suit. TikTok has also already been banned on civil servants’ work phones in other countries, such as India and Bangladesh, due to security concerns.
TikTok is owned by the Chinese Bytedance Group and is mainly used by young people. However, the app has quickly gained popularity in Western countries. There have long been concerns that the data is not secure and that the Chinese state could access it. However, TikTok has always denied these accusations.
Government agencies in the U.S. and Canada are giving their employees 30 days to ensure TikTok is removed from service phones and other devices. Downloading of the app will be blocked on government devices, and apps that have already been downloaded will have to be removed.