In the latest ban on the Chinese-owned social media app, TikTok will be banned from using parliament’s equipment and network.
Committees in the House of Commons and Lords announced they would follow the government’s move on official equipment, citing the need for cybersecurity.
A parliamentary spokesman said TikTok “will be blocked from all parliamentary equipment and the wider parliamentary network”.
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“Cybersecurity is a priority for Parliament, but we do not comment on the specifics of our cyber or physical security controls, policies or incidents,” he said.
TikTok can still be used on personal devices on the council estate, provided those devices are not connected to the council’s WiFI network.
Former Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith welcomed the move but called for the ban to be extended to ministers’ personal devices.
He tweeted: “Welcome to the decision of all parliamentary devices to block TikTok, a good one.
“Given this strong position in Parliament following the ban on TikTok from government phones, now is the time to ban TikTok from private phones by ministers.”
Scotland has made a similar decision to ban TikTok on government phones and other devices.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney added: “Currently, there is limited use of TikTok within the government and limited demand from staff to use the app on their work devices.
“This ban will be implemented immediately. It will not extend to personal devices used by staff or members of the public.”
TikTok: Ban ‘misguided and based on misunderstanding’
But TikTok called the council’s move “misguided and based on a fundamental misunderstanding of our company”.
A spokesperson said: “Millions of people in the UK love TikTok and potentially depriving users of connection and access to their representatives is self-defeating, especially in our collective fight against misinformation.”
“We are disappointed that, despite our requests, we have not been given any opportunity to resolve the issue, and we only ask to be judged on the facts and to be treated equally with our competitors.
“We have embarked on a comprehensive plan to further safeguard our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centers and strengthening data access controls, including independent oversight of our methods by third parties.”
Meanwhile, TikTok CEO Shouzi Zhou said the company was “unfairly singled out” when he faced data and security issues before a U.S. congressional committee.
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Video-sharing apps have been under increasing scrutiny Security and Data Privacyfearing it could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or collect user data — something Tik Tok Strongly deny.
European Commission More than half of U.S. states and Congress have banned the use of employee phones due to concerns over potential cyberattacks, Last week the British government followed suit.
Beijing reacted angrily to Downing Street’s decision, saying it was “based on its political motives rather than facts” and would “ultimately harm Britain’s own interests”.
TikTok said the bans were “based on fundamental misunderstandings and driven by broader geopolitics in which TikTok and our millions of users in the UK play no role”.