The Australian federal government has banned the use of TikTok on government devices, following the footsteps of other Western nations concerned about the popular Chinese-owned video app’s potential security risks.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus announced the ban on Tuesday, stating that the directive would be put into place “as soon as practicable” based on advice from intelligence and security agencies.
The new development will see Australia joining the US, Canada, Britain, and New Zealand in their move to ban TikTok on government devices.
According to some security analysts backing the idea, the move was driven by concerns that the app presents a security risk.
Prior to Australia’s decision, the European Parliament and Norway have also made similar moves, with NATO recently banned its staffers from downloading the app onto NATO-provided devices.
Ripples Nigeria gathered that the decision has not been well-received by TikTok’s management in Australia and New Zealand.
Lee Hunter, the general manager of TikTok in these regions, expressed “extreme disappointment” in the government’s decision, which he believes was driven by politics rather than any evidence of security risks posed by the app.
According to Hunter, the company had repeatedly sought constructive engagement with the Australian government and that there was no evidence to suggest that TikTok posed a security risk to Australia.
Till date, the security concerns raised as base for the ban has been more of speculation as there is currently no evidence that the Chinese government has accessed user data on TikTok.
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