At the end of February, the European Commission decided that the platform would be banned from official mobile phones. Since then, several countries have joined this initiative. The last to join has been New Zealand on banned Tiktok.
TikTok is having serious problems convincing governments and institutions that it does not pose a risk to the security of users.
Last Friday, New Zealand was the last country to join the list of states and government organizations that prohibit the platform on mobile phones and devices of official workers. Soon before, on Thursday, the United Kingdom had also done so.
In summary, they allege that there may be an abuse of privacy and cybersecurity by the popular social networking program TikTok, controlled by the Chinese corporation ByteDance. This company has been the target of critics who allege that the government of the Asian country could access user data, such as their browsing history and location.
TikTok has long stated that it does not exchange data with the Chinese authorities and that its data is not held in China. However, it disputes claims that it gathers more user data than other social media companies and maintains that its management team is independent of it.
To reinforce these claims, it has recently announced that it will open two data centers in Europe to comply with European regulations on data protection. With this project, TikTok intends to create a “safe enclave” for the information of the more than 150 million users it has in the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area.
Despite TikTok’s claims, many states around the world remain cautious about the platform and its ties to China. Here’s a look at the nations and regions that have banned the platform in whole or in part:
It has been the last country to join the list. They point out that the app will not be able to be installed on the mobiles of legislators as of next April, since “the risks” of the data collected by TikTok being used by the Chinese government “are not acceptable.”
Following similar actions by the United States and the European Union, the UK government said on Thursday that it will prohibit the Chinese-owned video app TikTok from being used on official cell phones.
Oliver Dowden, a minister in the British Cabinet Office, informed parliament that the prohibition on ministers’ and civil employees’ use of work mobiles and other devices is effective right away. As a “precautionary measure,” he continued, this does not apply to home computers.
The Danish Ministry of Defense banned its workers from installing the TikTok social network on their official mobile devices, citing security reasons.
The Danish Defense explained that the prohibition is also based on the scant use that this and other similar applications have in the work plans of employees, who are instructed to take it down as soon as it is placed.
The decision of the Ministry of Defense followed the recommendations of the Danish Center for Cyber Security (CFCS). Before, it was the Justice and Climate and Energy portfolios that prohibited the use of this application by their employees.
The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibited its officials from installing the TikTok app on their work electronic devices citing “security reasons”.
“My TikTok account has been removed due to security concerns. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibits the use of this application on smart devices that have the Ministry’s emails installed,” said the owner of this portfolio, Edgars Rinkevics, in your Twitter account.
According to Foreign Affairs, this application’s “success” lies in its “great precision” in analyzing and predicting “what everyone wants to see,” and it can be used to gather information on the diplomatic service.
The White House set a 30-day deadline on February 27 for all US federal agencies to remove the TikTok app from all government mobile devices, amid growing security concerns.
In response to worries that Beijing could use its legal and regulatory authority to collect users’ private information or to attempt to spread false information or pro-China narratives, Congress, the White House itself, and more than half of the US states have already banned TikTok.
The US military has banned the app on military devices, and more than half of the 50 US states have also banned the platform on government-owned equipment.
Only government-related equipment is covered by the US ban, even though some American senators have called for a complete ban. TikTok is used by more than two-thirds of American teenagers.
China claims that the restrictions imposed by the White House are an abuse of state authority and expose Washington’s vulnerabilities.
Immediately after the US declaration, Canada cautioned that government-owned devices should not use TikTok, alleging it creates an “unacceptable” danger to privacy and security. Workers will also be prevented from installing the app in the future.
TikTok has been prohibited on staff members’ electronic devices by the three major institutions of the European Union: the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the EU. This Monday, March 20, the ban imposed by the European Parliament goes into effect. It has been advised that staff members and politicians delete the app from their devices.
As the FBI issued a warning that TikTok presented a threat to national security, Taiwan banned its usage in the public sector in December 2022. Government devices — including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers — are not allowed to use Chinese-made software, including apps like TikTok, its Chinese equivalent Douyin, or Xiaohongshu, an app about Chinese lifestyle content.
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers banned TikTok and the game PUBG in 2022, citing it to protect young people from “being cheated. “
India imposed a ban on the use of TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps, including the messaging app WeChat, in 2020, citing privacy and security concerns. The ban came shortly after a clash between Indian and Chinese troops in a disputed Himalayan border area that killed 20 Indian soldiers and injured dozens more.
Chinese companies were allowed to answer questions about privacy and security requirements, but the ban was made permanent in January 2021.
Pakistani authorities have temporarily banned TikTok at least four times since October 2020, citing concerns that the app promotes immoral content.