London [UK]: After the United States, the UK and New Zealand became the latest western countries to ban the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform TikTok on ‘government devices’ citing security fears, The New York Times reported.
The UK, on Thursday, announced the ban of TikTok with immediate effect citing security fears linked to the video-sharing app’s ownership by a Chinese company. Speaking in the parliament, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden described the ban as ‘precautionary,’ even though the United States, the European Union’s executive arm, Canada and India had already taken similar steps.
Dowden said social media apps collect and store huge amounts of user data including contacts, user content and geolocation data on government devices which can be sensitive, according to The New York Times.
Post Covid, TikTok has aroused more suspicion than most because of its owner, the Chinese company ByteDance.
Britain’s actions reflect fears expressed across a variety of Western governments that TikTok might share sensitive data from devices used by politicians and senior officials with the government in Beijing.
The ban was announced on Thursday after the announcement of hardening the policy in Britain. On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described China as an ‘epoch-defining challenge’ to the international order.