Anthony Albanese to ban TikTok on official devices following review by home affairs department
The social media app TikTok will reportedly be banned from use on Australian government-issued devices due to security concerns.
According to an Australian newspaper, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese issued the directive after a Home Office review of the risks associated with the Chinese-owned app.
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The ban will apply to mobile phones and other devices issued by the government to politicians and civil servants.
State and territory governments received a briefing on the federal ban on Monday and are expected to implement similar rules for their officials, according to the report.
The announcement of the ban is expected to be made as early as Tuesday. The government has been contacted for comment.
The move follows the United States, Canada and the European Union banning government employees from having TikTok on work devices.
Concerns about TikTok are related to the possibility of data being collected and accessed by the Chinese government under national laws, which could force companies to share information.
The federal opposition is urging the government to take action on national security grounds and follow the example of other countries in imposing bans.
ByteDance, which owns the social media app, has denied that its user data could be shared with Beijing.
TikTok responded to the ban late on Monday evening.
“If confirmed, we are extremely disappointed with this decision, which we believe is driven by policy rather than facts,” Lee Hunter, CEO of TikTok Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.
“We are also disappointed that TikTok and the millions of Australians who use it have become aware of this decision through the media, despite our repeated invitations to constructively discuss this policy with the government.
“Again, … there is no evidence that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently than other social media platforms.”