New Zealand has announced that TikTok will be banned on devices linked to the country’s parliament network due to cyber security concerns, becoming the latest nation to join the US and the UK.
New Zealand Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said the decision has been made in consultation with cyber security experts to avoid any potential threats from the Chinese company in accessing users’ location, contact, and data.
The United Kingdom banned to use of TikTok, the video-sharing platform in government institutions effective from Thursday, March 16, 2023.
Concerns have mounted globally about the potential for the Chinese government to access users’ location and contact data through ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company.
The use of the video-sharing platform has been banned in institutions linked to the parliament network till the end of March, according to New Zealand authorities.
Several other counties including, the US and UK have banned the use of the popular video-sharing platform amid rising tensions that Chinese-based company will access the personal details of the users.
“Based on this information, the Service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment,” Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said.
Contrary to the allegations, TikTok said the recent bans are based on “fundamental misconceptions” and driven by wider geopolitics, adding that it has spent more than $1.5 billion on rigorous data security efforts and rejects spying allegations.
The souring political and economic relations between Washington and Beijing could be one of the many reasons why the US has banned the use of TikTok on devices linked with government institutions.