After UK, New Zealand bans TikTok on government devices over security concerns

New Zealand says it will ban TikTok on devices with access to the country’s parliamentary network due to cybersecurity concerns, becoming the latest country to restrict the use of the video-sharing app across devices. related to government.

Concerns have grown globally about the Chinese government’s ability to access users’ location and contact data through ByteDance, Tik Tok Chinese parent company.

The depth of those concerns was highlighted this week when the Biden administration asked TikTok’s Chinese owners to divest their shares or the app could face a US ban.

In New Zealand, TikTok will be banned from all devices with access to the parliamentary network by the end of March.

Parliamentary Services executive director Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said in an email to Reuters that the decision was made after advice from cybersecurity experts and discussions within the government and with the public. other countries.

“Based on this information, the Service has determined that the risks are unacceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment,” he said.

He adds that special arrangements can be made for people who require the app to do their job.
ByteDance did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Britain on Thursday banned the app on government phones with immediate effect. Government agencies in the US have until the end of March to remove the app from official devices.

TikTok said it believes the recent bans are based on “fundamental misconceptions and are driven by broader geopolitics, adding that it has spent more than $1.5 billion ( around Rs 12,376) for rigorous data security efforts and denial of espionage allegations.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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