The TikTok bans keep on rolling and today’s ban is a big one in the United Kingdom.
Today, the United Kingdom became the latest country to ban the social media app on government devices. In a statement, Oliver Dowden, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, announced that TikTok would be banned from government devices effective immediately. Dowden says that the app is being banned in an effort to ensure the data protection of “sensitive government information.”
“The security of sensitive government information must come first, so today we are banning this app on government devices. The use of other data-extracting apps will be kept under review. Restricting the use of TikTok on Government devices is a prudent and proportionate step following advice from our cyber security experts.”
The UK’s ban notes that it “does not extend to personal devices for government employees, ministers or the general public. Individuals should be aware of each social media platform’s data policies when considering downloading and using them.” The government said that some exceptions can be made, but that they will need to go through an approval process with security teams and only be granted on a case-by-case basis.
The United Kingdom is just the latest to ban TikTok on government devices. The news comes on the same day as a report that the Biden administration is now threatening a total ban in the United States. The U.S. government is reportedly demanding that Chinese stakeholders sell their shares in the company in order to avoid a nationwide ban.
In response to that report, a TikTok spokesperson said that “divestment doesn’t solve the problem: a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access.” The announcement also comes a few weeks after the social media app was banned from government devices in Canada.