Minister: We will not follow EU TikTok ban
BRITAIN will not follow the US and EU in banning government officials from using TikTok despite growing security concerns over the Chinese-owned app.
The new Science Secretary, Michelle Donelan, said prohibiting MPs and civil servants from using the popular social media platform would be a ‘very, very forthright move’ which would require more evidence to justify.
Last month Canada became the latest Western power to ban TikTok on government-issued mobile devices amid concerns China could obtain private data from its political and security targets. But the UK Government has been reluctant to take any action despite growing calls from senior MPs to clamp down on use of the app.
Miss Donelan told the Politico website: ‘We have no evidence to suggest that there is a necessity to ban people from using TikTok. That would be a very, very forthright move, that would require a significant evidence base to be able to do that.’
MPs are under pressure to stop using TikTok in case Beijing can access sensitive smartphone data from the app’s owner ByteDance. Luke de Pulford, of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, said: ‘The risks associated with TikTok are well known, and Canada, the US and EU have banned it for good data security reasons.
‘The UK needs to wake up and stop dragging its feet.’
Labour’s Northern Ireland spokesman Peter Kyle said yesterday he has personally deleted the app from this phone.
Last week Tory MP Alicia Kearns, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee, said ministers ‘most certainly should not have it [TikTok] on their phones’.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said of the US ban: ‘We firmly oppose those wrong actions. How unsure of itself can the world’s top superpower like the US be to fear young people’s favourite app like that.’