Anthony Albanese bans TikTok on government devices for security fears

Anthony Albanese bans TikTok on all Australian government devices over fears the Chinese app poses a national security risk and is being used to track our every move

  • TikTok will be banned from Australian government devices
  • Anthony Albanese is expected to announce the ban soon

TikTok will be banned from all Australian government-issued devices over national security fears.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued the directive following a review by the home affairs department into the risks posed by the Chinese-owned video-sharing app, according to The Australian newspaper.

The ban would apply to mobile phones and other devices issued by the government for politicians and public servants.

It’s understood state and territory governments received a briefing on Monday about the federal ban and are expected to follow through with similar bans.

The announcement of the ban is expected to be made by the Albanese government either on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured) has issued a directive to ban TikTok from all Australian government devices

Concerns over TikTok relate to the potential for data to be harvested and accessed by the Chinese government under national laws that can compel companies to hand over information.

The federal opposition has been calling for the government to act on the national security concerns and follow other countries in instituting bans.

ByteDance, which owns the social media app, has denied its user data can be supplied to Beijing and claims TikTok poses no risk to Australians.

TikTok responded to the ban late on Monday night.

‘If confirmed, we are extremely disappointed by this decision which, in our view, is driven by politics, not fact,’ a statement from Lee Hunter, General Manager TikTok Australia and New Zealand, read.

‘We are also disappointed that TikTok, and the millions of Australians who use it, were left to learn of this decision through the media, despite our repeated offers to engage with (the) government constructively about this policy.

‘Again,…there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms.’

The ban in Australia follows the United States, Canada and the European Union prohibiting government employees from having the video app on work-issued devices (stock image)

The move follows the United States, Canada and the European Union prohibiting government employees from having TikTok on work-issued devices.

New Zealand, France, Norway and the Netherlands are the latest countries to announce bans of the app on government devices. 

New Zealand’s ban was announced and enforced last month, with an email sent out to inform MPs. 

‘The decision to block the TikTok application has been made based on our own analysis and following discussion with our colleagues across government and internationally,’ the email read.

The US appears to have gone a step further with lawmakers debating whether to enforce a nationwide ban. 

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