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UK Govt. Bans TikTok on Govt. phones Over Security Concerns, Joins List of Countries Taking Action

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

British minister Oliver Dowden said on Thursday the government would ban the use of TikTok on government devices, saying there was a risk about how sensitive data could be used on certain platforms.

"We're moving to a system where government devices will only be able to access third party apps that are on a pre-approved list," Dowden told lawmakers.

"We are also going to ban the use of TikTok on government devices. We will do so with immediate effect."

Picture: Kumaon Jagran

TikTok, the popular video-sharing app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has faced criticism and scrutiny from various governments worldwide, with concerns raised about its security and the potential for data breaches. As a result, some countries have either partially or completely banned the app.

Similarly, in the US, new legislation has been backed to potentially ban the app nationwide, and federal employees were ordered to remove TikTok from their government-issued phones last month to protect confidential data. Some American officials have raised concerns that data from the app could be accessed by the Chinese government.

Canada has also banned the app from government-issued devices, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau citing the need to protect data security.

In the European Union, the European Commission and the EU Council temporarily banned TikTok from employee phones as a cybersecurity measure, with the European Parliament following suit.

India banned TikTok in June 2020 alongside other Chinese apps, citing national security concerns and the app's alleged promotion of pornography. The country was TikTok's largest international market before the ban, with over 200 million users.

Taiwan banned TikTok from all public-sector devices in 2022 over concerns that the Chinese government was conducting "cognitive warfare" against the nation. Pakistan has also banned the app multiple times, with the latest ban concluding in November 2021.

In Iran, TikTok is entirely banned due to the incompatibility of the app's rules with the country's laws.

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