Home / News / Internet / Just like New Zealand, Australia has banned TikTok from government-issued gadgets

Just like New Zealand, Australia has banned TikTok from government-issued gadgets

To join the growing list of Western countries that have banned TikTok on government-issued smartphones, Australia made the move today. Mark Dreyfus, the Attorney General, made the announcement and promised that the ban would be enforced “as quickly as practical.”

According to Dreyfus, “input from intelligence and security services” was used to make the final call.

Australia has updated its Preventive Security Policy Framework (PSPF) after concluding that TikTok’s data gathering activities represent a security risk.

Because of its substantial gathering of user data and exposure to extrajudicial directives from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law, the TikTok app “poses serious security and privacy concerns to non-corporate Commonwealth organizations,” according to the directive.

The government has stated that, for “a genuine business reason,” and on a dedicated “standalone device,” the usage of the short video app is permitted.

Australia has joined its close neighbor New Zealand and the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada in banning TikTok from government-issued devices. Separately, the European Union and Belgium have banned the ByteDance-owned app from being installed on law enforcement smartphones and tablets.

TikTok has expressed its displeasure with the decision made by the Australian government.

We are quite dissatisfied with this decision, which appears to be motivated more by politics than by evidence. Despite our repeated efforts to engage constructively with government about this policy, we are particularly concerned that TikTok and the millions of Australians who use it were left to learn of this decision through the media.

TikTok poses no more of a security concern to Australians than any other social media network, and we urge that it be treated as such. TikTok ANZ general manager Lee Hunter stated in a statement, “Our millions of Australian users deserve a government which takes decisions based upon facts and who treats all businesses similarly, regardless of place of origin.”

Shou Zi Chew, CEO of TikTok, appeared before the United States Congress for five hours last month. Chew attempted to reassure lawmakers that their data is safe from Chinese prying eyes throughout the hearing.

Let me be clear: ByteDance is not a Chinese or any other government’s agent, he stated.
The Biden administration has threatened ByteDance with an embargo until it sells TikTok US. TikTok is spending $1.5 billion on a PR campaign called “Project Texas” to win over U.S. regulators and allay their concerns about data privacy and security.

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