TikTok will be banned from all government phones and devices in the UK due to security concerns, the authorities have announced.
On Thursday, British minister Oliver Dowden announced that the government would prohibit the use of TikTok on devices owned by the government, citing concerns about the potential misuse of sensitive data on specific 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," said the minister.
Governments restricting TikTok
The decision shows a serious escalation in efforts to restrict TikTok, which holds a prominent position as one of the most favored social media platforms globally.
Usage of chinese-owned social media app on government administration devices has already been banned by the European Commission and US Congress due to concerns over potential cyber threats.
The Biden administration is backing the bill, which could potentially ban the app in the US. The decision comes as a result of mounting worries regarding the app's security and data privacy.
US government and law enforcement officials have voiced concerns that TikTok may be utilized to conduct surveillance on US citizens, extract confidential personal information, and shape public opinion.
The move by the British authorities would also likely anger Beijing, which has accused the US of spreading disinformation.
Following the bill's proposal in the US, TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter conveyed the company's disappointment.
Oberwetter stated that if the app were to be banned, it would imply banning of “the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide.”
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