UK bans TikTok on government devices after US move

The UK plans to ban TikTok on government phones after similar moves in the US and European Union.

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LONDON — The United Kingdom on Thursday announced plans to ban the use of Chinese video app TikTok on state-owned corporate devices.

Cabinet Secretary Oliver Dowden said that following a review by the UK’s cybersecurity experts, “it is clear that there could be a risk in how sensitive government data is accessed and used by certain platforms”.

Dowden added that apps collect massive amounts of data about users, including contacts and location. On government devices, this “data can be sensitive,” he said.

“The security of sensitive government information must come first, so today we are banning this app on government devices. The use of other data extracting apps will be reviewed,” the minister said in a press release.

The TikTok ban begins effective immediately, according to Dowden, who noted the move was “precautionary.”

He confirmed that the ban would not extend to government employees’ personal devices. “This is a proportionate move based on a certain level of risk with government equipment.”

Exceptions for using TikTok on government devices are implemented when necessary for work purposes, but “are only granted by security teams on a case-by-case basis, with ministerial approval where appropriate and with security mitigations in place. ‘ said the government.

The minister also said government devices can only access third-party apps that are on a pre-approved list.

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