The British parliament has banned the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok from all parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network, citing cybersecurity concerns.
The commissions of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords have decided that TikTok will be blocked from all parliamentary devices and the broader parliamentary network.
“Cybersecurity is a top legislative priority. However, we do not comment on the specifics of our cyber or physical security controls, policies, or incidents,” a spokesman for the British Parliament told the UK Guardian on Thursday.
ByteDance’s TikTok is a short-form video hosting service that allows users to submit videos with durations ranging from 3 seconds to 10 minutes.
Following discussions with the British government, the Scottish government has also banned the app from its mobile phones and other corporate devices.
According to John Swinney, deputy first minister of Scotland, the ban does not apply to personal devices used by staff or members of the general public.
She stated, “Devices managed by the Scottish government are configured in accordance with National Cyber Security Centre best practices, allowing us to manage any risk associated with the use of third-party applications.”
“Our decision to prohibit the use of TikTok is a result of discussions with the UK government about the potential tracking and privacy risks associated with certain social media apps.
“There is currently limited use of TikTok within the government, and there is little need for employees to use the app on work devices.” This prohibition will take effect immediately. It does not apply to personal devices used by staff or members of the public.”