TikTok banned on UK government phones
Government officials would still be able to use the app on their personal phones, but the Cabinet Secretary urged them to be cautious.
LONDON – The U.K. today banned TikTok from all government devices, as Western countries take an increasingly hostile approach to the app.
The move follows a review by the country’s National Cyber Security Centre. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese headquartered company, and Western governments fear it could give Beijing’s spies access to sensitive data.
Cabinet Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons at lunchtime that the ban was “proportionate” and “prudent” and followed similar moves by allies.
He said only a list of third-party approved apps would be allowed on government devices and the ban starts immediately.
Government officials will still be able to use the app on their personal phones, but Dowden urged them to be cautious.
He said there would be exemptions granted on a “case by case” basis.
It follows similar bans by the European Union, Belgium, and Canada. The U.S. has also restricted the app last year and is now working on broader plans which could see TikTok’s parent company ByteDance either forced to sell or face an outright ban.
Responding to Dowden’s statement, deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said the government was trying to bolt the stable door after the horse had bolted and hit out at a “sticking plaster” approach while “gaping holes” remain in the U.K.’s national security.