Australia said on Tuesday that it will ban TikTok on all government devices due to its growing national security concerns. The country has now joined a list that does not stop growing of nations cracking down on Chinese property enforcement.
This announcement follows warnings from Western officials that China could use the applicationowned by Beijing-based ByteDance, to spy on users and manipulate public debate.
Australia’s Attorney General Mark Dreyfus confirmed on Tuesday that the ban would come into effect. “as soon as possible”while some may be exempt depending on the security risk involved.
With this novelty, the ban on TikTok makes Australia the latest of the “Five Eyes” intelligence partners to introduce such restrictions, after the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.
Despite being considered at first as a perfect application to target the younger sector, cyber security experts they began repeatedly warning that the app could be used to harvest user data that is then shared with the Chinese government.
With this, Australia joins France, Belgium and the European Commission to announce the ban on the application, in addition to the countries that make up the alliance of security previously commented.
Since in 2020 India gave the go-ahead to the blockade of the social network—followed by Indonesia—, a multitude of countries and institutions have followed suit. At the end of 2022, a new law was already reported in the United States that requires the Joe Biden administration to establish rules to remove TikTok from government devices almost immediately.
TikTok does not understand what is hidden behind these movements
“It is disappointing to see other government agencies and institutions banning TikTok on employee devices without deliberation or evidence. These bans are based on basic misinformation about our company, and we are available to meet with officials to set the record straight about our ownership structure and our commitment to data privacy and security,” clarifies a TikTok spokesperson.
Lee Hunter, general manager of TikTok in Australia, has also confirmed that the company was disappointed to learn of the ban through the media. Of course, the social network has denied claims that the app poses a security risk and insisted that it has never and would never share data with the Chinese government.4
“We share a common goal with governments that are concerned about user privacy, but these bans are misguided and do nothing to improve privacy or security.”ends the explanation of the TikTok spokesperson.