After New Zealand, Australia bans TikTok on official devices

After New Zealand, Australia bans TikTok on official devices

After New Zealand, Australia bans TikTok on official devices

Australia today joined a long list of Western countries banning TikTok on official devices. Attorney General Mark Dreyfus announced the decision today and said the ban would be implemented “as soon as possible”.

In the announcement, Dreyfus said the decision was made “after receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies.”

Additionally, Australia has also made changes to its Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF), noting that TikTok poses a security threat due to its data collection practices.

“The TikTok app poses significant security and privacy risks to Commonwealth non-commercial entities due to extensive collection of user data and exposure to extrajudicial instructions from a foreign government that are in conflict with Australian law,” the directive reads.

Authorities said they would allow the short-form video app to be used for “a legitimate business reason” and on a separate “standalone device.”

Australia’s move is in line with neighboring New Zealand and other members of the Five Eyes collective in the US, UK and Canada – all of which have banned the use of TikTok on official devices . Separately, the EU and Belgium have also banned the ByteDance-owned app on authorities’ devices.

TikTok did not immediately comment on the story.

Last month, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the US Congress in a grueling five-hour session. During the hearing, Chew tried to assure lawmakers that Chinese authorities do not have access to US user data.

“Let me say this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” he said.

ByteDance is under pressure from the Biden administration to sell TikTok US or face an embargo. Meanwhile, TikTok is waging a $1.5 billion charm offensive under “Project Texas” to appease US authorities and dispel their doubts about data transparency.


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