British authorities prohibited the use of the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok on official devices on Thursday. Oliver Dowden, Minister for the Cabinet Office, informed the UK Parliament that the ban would extend to official phones and devices used by government officials and employees. Personal mobile phones and electronic devices are exempt from the ban.
With this, UK joined the list of at least countries who have banned use of TikTok for its employees on charges ranging from privacy concerns to national security to inducing harmful content.
These countries have banned TikTok
Citing privacy and security concerns, Centre outlawed TikTok and dozens of other Chinese applications during the Covid outbreak in 2020. The prohibition was implemented soon after the conflict in Galwan, which claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers. (ALSO READ: TikTok shuts India office, fires all employees three years after ban: Report)
In February, the US government gave its departments and organisations 30 days to remove the programme from their devices. The restriction will apply only to American legislators. (ALSO READ: US tells ByteDance to sell TikTok. It says: ‘If protecting national security…’)
Canada in February asked that its government representatives refrain from using the TikTok app because it poses a “unacceptable” risk to their security and privacy.
In February, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the EU Council have all banned TikTok from their employees’ devices.
Denmark’s Defence Ministry announced on March 6 that it would “ban the use of the app on official units” as a cybersecurity measure. It alleged that espionage was a possibility.
Belgium banned TikTok from government phones over worries about cybersecurity, privacy and misinformation, the country’s prime minister informed on March 10.
The Chinese app is also prohibited in Taiwan and Afghanistan. Pakistan has temporarily banned TikTok at least four times due to concerns that the software encourages the consumption of pornographic material.