TikTok ban: UK minister asks National Cyber Security Centre to look into safety of app | Politics News
UK security minister Tom Tugendhat has asked the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to look into TikTok after governments around the world have begun banning it from their work phones.
The Chinese-owned video sharing app is increasingly under the European and US microscope over security and data privacy, with concerns it could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or gather user data.
The EU Commission and more than half of US states and Congress have already introduced a ban over concerns around potential cyberattacks.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted at following suit, saying the UK will “look at what our allies are doing”.
And the UK’s parliament shut down its own account last year after MPs raised concerns about the firm’s links to China.
But TikTok has hit back, calling government bans “misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions”.
Confirming his request for an investigation into the app, Mr Tugendhat told Sky News it was “absolutely essential” to keep the UK’s “diplomatic processes free and safe”.
He added: “Understanding exactly what the challenges that these apps pose, what they are asking for and how they’re reaching into our lives is incredibly important.”
The Tory MP, who said he did not have the app “for many reasons – the main you can probably guess”, did not rule out banning it on government phones, but said he wanted to wait for the conclusions of the NCSC before saying more.
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“Different countries have taken different approaches,” added Mr Tugendhat.
“The Indian government has banned TikTok and many other apps, the US government has taken different choices in terms of their government phones… different companies and different countries have taken different approaches.
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“What certainly clear is that, for many young people, TikTok is now a news source.
“And just as is quite right that we know who owns the news sources in the UK… it’s important that we know who owns news sources that are feeding into our phones.”