HomeBreaking NewsNew Zealand to ban TikTok on parliament-linked devices

New Zealand to ban TikTok on parliament-linked devices

New Zealand has announced it will ban TikTok from devices accessing the country’s parliamentary network over cybersecurity concerns, becoming the latest country to restrict use of the video-sharing app on government devices. Concerns have grown globally over the potential for the Chinese government to gain access to users’ locations and contact information through ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.

The depth of those concerns was underscored this week when the Biden administration demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners divest their stakes or the app could face a US ban.

In New Zealand, TikTok will be banned from all devices with access to the parliamentary network until the end of March. The executive director of the parliamentary service, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, said in an email to Reuters that the decision was made based on the recommendations of cybersecurity experts and discussions within the government and with other countries.

Based on this information, the service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current environment of the New Zealand Parliament,” he said. Special arrangements can be made for those who require the app to do its job, he added. ByteDance did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Britain banned the app on government phones with immediate effect on Thursday. Government authorities in the US have until the end of March to delete the application from official devices.

TikTok said it believes the recent bans are based on “fundamental misconceptions and driven by broader geopolitics,” adding that it has spent more than $1.5 billion on rigorous data security efforts and denies accusations of espionage.

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