UK to ban TikTok from Government phones

Britain is expected to follow the US and the EU with the move.
Britain is expected to follow the US and the EU with the move. Britain is expected to follow the US and the EU with the move.

TikTok will be banned on Government phones, ministers are expected to announce after security concerns were raised about use of the Chinese-owned app.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden will announce the details in the Commons on Thursday, the PA news agency understands.

Oliver Dowden
Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden, Cabinet Office minister, will announce the ban on Thursday, it is understood (PA)

Security minister Tom Tugendhat had asked chiefs at the National Cyber Security Centre to review the video-sharing app.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been under pressure from senior MPs to follow the US and EU in banning TikTok from Government devices.

Earlier this week, he said the UK will “look at what our allies are doing”, with Washington and the European Commission already banning the social media platform from staff phones.

TikTok said bans have been based on “misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics”, saying it would be “disappointed by such a move” in the UK.

The move would also likely anger Beijing, which has accused the US of spreading disinformation and suppressing TikTok amid reports the White House is calling for its Chinese owners to sell their stakes.

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan on Wednesday said the public can continue to use the app.

“In terms of the general public, it is absolutely a personal choice. But because we have the strongest data protection laws in the world, we are confident that the public can continue to use it,” she told the Commons.

TikTok has long said it does not share data with China but Chinese intelligence legislation requires firms to help the Communist Party when requested.

Critics fear the policy could expose western data to Beijing.

Parliament’s TikTok account was shut down last year after MPs raised concerns about the firm’s links to China.