The British government has announced that on security grounds, the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok will be banned from all official state mobile phones. This decision follows similar measures taken by both the United States of America and European Union.
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden told Parliament that the ban applies with immediate effect to work phones and other devices used by government ministers and civil servants. He described the ban as a “precautionary move,” and said it does not apply to personal phones and devices.
“Given the particular risk around government devices, which may contain sensitive information, it is both prudent and proportionate to restrict the use of certain apps, particularly when it comes to apps where a large amount of data can be stored and accessed,” Dowden told British lawmakers.
In response to the US government’s mandate last month, federal agencies have put preventive measures in place to prevent the use of TikTok on government-issued mobile devices. At a congressional level as well as with military forces and more than half of US states, bans on using this app had already been instituted. Furthermore, all applicable employees were instructed to delete it from any devices that may be affected by the recent regulations.