Following a security review ordered by Cabinet Office ministers, the UK government has announced that TikTok is now banned from being used on government devices. The review investigated the potential vulnerability of sensitive government data and how this data could be accessed by TikTok.
The government clarified that this ban is a precautionary measure and not a result of known data snooping. TikTok requires users to provide permissions, including access to contacts, user content, and geolocation data. The government is concerned about this data being sent to the Chinese company and potentially being misused.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden,
emphasized that the security of sensitive government information is a top priority. The use of other data-extracting apps will also be kept under review.
The ban on TikTok only applies to government devices, and personal devices for government employees, ministers, and the general public are not affected. However, the government advises users to learn about the data policies of social media platforms before using them. This decision follows the US’s consideration of a ban on the app in the country altogether.