It seems that TikTok is again in big trouble considering many countries and regions are banning the app over security concerns. All this has started ever since India barred TikTok in June 2020, citing issues of privacy and national sovereignty. Now, the UK has also announced a ban on this Chinese-owned video-making app.
Although, the ban is only placed for those who use TikTok on government devices and it will be available for public in the country. The UK has followed in the footsteps of the European Union and the US as they fear that the company might leak user data to Chinese government officials. It is being said that government devices have sensitive data and so, Chinese officials could get access to it if the app is not banned.
"We will do so with immediate effect," Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden told parliament.
New Zealand will also reportedly ban TikTok on devices that have access to its parliament by the end of March. Unlike these, the Indian government placed a complete ban on TikTok and no one in the country can access it. Since then, apps like Instagram introduced Reels to let people make short videos with music and other filters. Though, it is still not able to provide the level of features and editing options that TikTok offers to users. The video-making app, which got banned in 2020, had about more than 200 million user base.
In its defense, TikTok has always denied claims of it sharing user data with Chinese officials. Theo Bertram, the app's Vice President of government relations and public policy in Europe, told BBC that the decision of ban is being made on "geopolitics than anything else."
"We asked to be judged not on the fears that people have, but on the facts," he said. The embassy also reported that the latest announcement to ban TikTok is because of politics "rather than facts" and would "undermine the confidence of the international community in the UK's business environment."
The UK government has confirmed that it won't be forcing the public not to use TikTok app or uninstall it, but its Cabinet Minister Oliver Dowden has advised people to "consider each social media platform's data policies before downloading and using them."
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