Science and Tech

UK bans TikTok on government devices

Washington () — The United Kingdom on Thursday banned the use of TikTok on official government devices, adding to similar restrictions imposed by allies in Canada, the European Union and the United States.

The social media app is not widely used by UK officials, according to a government announcement, but the move reflects concerns about TikTok’s ties to China through its parent company, ByteDance, and the possibility of that the Chinese government could pressure companies to hand over users’ personal information.

“This is a proportionate measure based on a specific risk with government arrangements,” British Cabinet Secretary Oliver Dowden told lawmakers on Thursday.

TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company has said it is voluntarily working to address security issues by taking technical and bureaucratic steps to isolate US and EU user data from its global operations. He also stated that he has not received any requests from the Chinese government for user information and will resist such requests.

The UK announcement comes a day after TikTok said the US government had asked the company’s Chinese owners to sell their shares or risk a ban.

In December, President Joe Biden signed into law a law banning TikTok on federal government devices, adding to what has become a list of more than half of US states.

US lawmakers have proposed expanding the Biden administration’s authority to enact a nationwide ban on TikTok. A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation this month that would give the Commerce Department wide leeway to review and ban technologies linked to foreign adversaries, a proposal the White House was quick to welcome.

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