The British government banned the use of Tik Tok on government phones Thursday, citing the possibility that such use could provide useful intelligence to the Chinese-owned company's political masters. The ban follows similar prohibitions in the U.S. and Europe. Unlike the U.S., though, where the Biden administration is calling for a total ban on the app, the U.K. government stressed that everyday users, including government workers, would remain free to install it on their personal devices. NBC News:
Exemptions for the use of TikTok on government devices are being implemented where necessary for work purposes, but "will only be granted by security teams on a case-by-case basis, with ministerial clearance as appropriate, and with security mitigations put in place," the government said.
The minister also said that government devices will only be able to access third-party apps that are on a pre-approved list.
A TikTok spokesperson said that the company was disappointed with the U.K. government's decision.
"We believe these bans have been based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics, in which TikTok, and our millions of users in the UK, play no part.
As with the U.S. ban, I'm surprised that people were allowed to install this kind of thing on their work devices in the first place. Twitter and Facebook had a certain status as "platforms of record" for companies and governments, but Tik Tok?