The concerns of TikTok posing a threat to national security have led to its overall from several countries, including India.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom on Thursday announced to block TikTok on all devices on its network over security concerns, becoming the latest among several government institutions to crack down on the Chinese social media platform. The move comes just a week after the short-video-sharing app was banned from government devices in the country.
According to a Reuters report, that quoted a parliament spokesperson, the commissions of both the House of Commons and Lords have decided that the ByteDance-owned platform would be blocked from all Britain’s parliamentary devices and the wider parliamentary network. The spokesperson added that cyber security is the parliament’s top priority.
Calling the decision “misguided” and based on fundamental misconceptions about TikTok,” the company’s spokesperson said in a statement that the company was not given any opportunity to address concerns. The spokesperson asked “to be judged on facts and treated equally to our competitors.”
TikTok has commenced implementing a comprehensive plan to further protect its European user data, the spokesperson added. This includes storing the data of its users in the UK in its European data centers and tightening data access controls.
Meanwhile, several lawmakers across the globe have raised concerns that China could force the social media company to surrender the data of its users or manipulate the content received by the users to advance China’s interests. The concerns of TikTok posing a threat to national security have led to its overall from several countries, including India.
Back in 2020, Tiktok was banned in India along with 300 other Chinese apps over national security issues. The company ended its final chapter in India by firing its entire staff in the country last month.
New Zealand also banned the usage of TikTok on parliamentary devices last week. TikTok is facing similar scrutiny in the United States.
In December, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration banned the app on all House-managed devices in the U.S. Following this, a partial or full ban on the Chinese app was imposed by several states in the United States, which has at least 100 million TikTok users. The company has been denying all the allegations and assuring the U.S. government that its users’ data cannot be accessed and content cannot be manipulated by the Communist Party or anyone else in its home country.
In a rare appearance at the U.S. Congress yesterday, TikTok chief executive officer Shou Zi Chew was grilled by skeptic lawmakers for nearly six hours over data security concerns.