TikTok: security minister asks National Cyber Security Centre to look into safety of app over links to China
UK security minister Tom Tugendhat has asked the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to look into the safety of the Chinese-owned TikTok app.
The Minister for Security did not rule out following other governments in banning the video sharing app from work phones. TikTok has come under scrutiny in the US and EU over security and data privacy concerns.
Some fear TikTok could be used to gather data from devices and promote pro-China views. The EU Commission and more than half of US states and Congress have already introduced a ban over concerns around potential cyberattacks.
Banning the app on work phones was also hinted at by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who said the UK will “look at what our allies are doing.” Last year, the UK parliament closed down its TikTok account after concerns were raised by MPs.
Confirming he has asked the National Cyber Security Agency to investigate the app, Mr Tugendhat told Sky News: “Understanding exactly what the challenges that these apps pose, what they are asking for and how they’re reaching into our lives is incredibly important. Different countries have taken different approaches. What certainly is clear is that, for many young people, TikTok is now a news source. And just as is quite right that we know who owns the news sources in the UK, it’s important that we know who owns news sources that are feeding into our phones.
“The Indian government has banned TikTok and many other apps, the US government has taken different choices in terms of their government phones, different companies and different countries have taken different approaches.”
TikTok has hit back, calling government bans "misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions.”