UK Government Reviewing TikTok Risks

TECHNOLOGY

Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre is reviewing whether Chinese-owned video app TikTok should be banned from government phones, security minister Tom Tugendhat said on Tuesday. TikTok has come under increasing focus over fears that user data could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests.

The United States, Canada, Belgium and the European Commission are among those that have already banned the app, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd, from government devices. Understanding exactly what the challenges that these apps pose and what they are asking for and how they are reaching into their lives is incredibly important, in a separate interview, the minister said that they need to make sure that our phones are not spyware, but useful tools for them.

TikTok said it would be disappointed by such a ban. According to a TikTok Spokesman, similar decisions elsewhere have been based on misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics, but they remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns, adding that it had begun taking steps to further protect European user data.

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Last week, the White House backed legislation to give the administration new powers to ban TikTok and other foreign-based technologies if they pose national security threats. UK cast China as representing an epoch-defining challenge to the world order in an update to its blueprint for security and international policy.