The United Kingdom announced an immediate ban on the use of the TikTok application on devices of government officials. The ban was issued amid concerns that TikTok, a video-sharing application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, may share sensitive data from user devices, such as politicians and ministers, with the Chinese government.
The ban reflects an escalation of the information security and cyber policy in the UK. Britain thus joins countries such as the United States, Canada, India, and New Zealand, and institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Commission, which have taken similar steps.
In response to the ban, TikTok said it was disappointed by the UK government’s decision. It argued that the ban is based on misconceptions stemming from geopolitical motives and that it was taking steps to protect the data of UK users.
France also announced a ban on civil servants downloading social media apps, games, and video-sharing platforms to their work devices, due to concerns about cybersecurity and privacy. The ban, which came into effect immediately, includes TikTok but is not limited to the Chinese-owned platform. It also applies to apps like Instagram, owned by Meta.
Click here to read the press release of the Government of the United Kingdom.
Click here to read the press release of the French Government (in French).