Today Australia joins an ever-growing list of Western countries that are banning TikTok on government devices. The hugely popular Chinese owned app ByteDance worries about the non-transparent management of users’ personal data. Specifically, it is believed that the company collects personal information and then makes it available to the Chinese government.
The app has already been banned by government devices of France, UK, New Zealand, Canada and USA. In the United States, the war on TiktTok is particularly felt, to the point that the CEO has been summoned to report to Congress.
TikTok banned in Australia after intelligence analysis
The announcement of the ban from Australian devices was declared by the Attorney General Mark Dreyfus. He explained that the decision was made after having “consulted reports from intelligence and security agencies”. Dreyfus has announced that the maneuver will take effect in the near future.
As part of the ban Australia made changes to its Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF)categorizing TikTok as a threat to national security due to its data collection practices.
“The TikTok application poses significant security and privacy risks to non-corporate entities resulting from extensive collection of user data and exposure to extrajudicial directives from a foreign government that conflicts with Australian law” , reads the directive.
Australian authorities have explained that the app will be allowed for “a commercial reason” and on a separate “standalone device”.
TikTok’s response: “Disappointed by a ban that has political motivations”
In response to the Australian government’s decision, TikTok said it was disappointed by the maneuver, calling it a “move dictated by policy” (via TechCrunch):
“We are extremely disappointed with this decision, which we believe is driven by policy, not facts.”
Lee Hunter, general manager of TikTok Australia and New Zealand, reiterated that “there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a danger to the safety of Australians and should not be treated differently than other social media platforms. Our millions of Australian users deserve a government that makes decisions based on evidence and treats all businesses fairly, regardless of country of origin.”