New Zealand parliament bans TikTok – RT World News
MPs have been told to remove the Chinese app from their phones by the end of the month
Popular Chinese video-sharing app TikTok has been banned from all devices that can access the New Zealand parliament’s network, the legislature’s chief executive has announced.
New Zealand has become the latest country to follow the US lead and restrict its officials’ access to TikTok for data security reasons. Earlier this week, the UK government banned British ministers and civil servants from using the app, which is owned by Beijing-based tech conglomerate ByteDance, with immediate effect.
On Friday, the chief executive of New Zealand’s parliamentary service, Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, said the risks of MPs in the country having TikTok installed on their phones “are not acceptable”.
“The Parliamentary Service has informed members and staff that the TikTok app will be removed from all devices with access to the Parliamentary Network,” he said.
According to Gonzalez-Montero, his department made the decision “based on the analysis of our own experts and following discussions with our colleagues in government and abroad.”
Exceptions to the ban are possible for those who need the app to “carry out their democratic duties”, he added.
In a separate letter to MPs that was seen by the media, the chief executive said lawmakers should remove TikTok from their devices by March 31. Those who don’t comply could lose access to the parliament’s network, Gonzalez-Montero warned.
National Party member and Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) co-chair Simon O’Connor described the decision to ban the app as “A voucher.”
“I – and IPAC as a whole – have had serious data privacy concerns for some time,” O’Connor told CNN. He also claimed that TikTok’s responses to his previous inquiries about how the platform handled data had been “unsatisfactory”.
The ACT party, which is actively using the Chinese app to promote its message, told the Guardian it anticipated the move. The party spokesperson explained that his TikTok account “is managed from a personal phone without parliamentary information. We have been taking this precaution for some time.
TikTok claims the US is threatening it with a ban
ByteDance has repeatedly dismissed Western espionage claims, saying the Chinese government could not access the data of its more than 1 billion users and never asked for it. Beijing authorities accuse the United States of unfair competition in “DELETE” TikTok, as well as “spreading misinformation about data security.
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