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UK govt considers banning TikTok from govt phones

Sky News: TikTok is expected to be banned from UK government phones later today, Sky News understands.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden will make a statement to Parliament this afternoon on “the security of government devices”, where it is understood he will confirm the ban.

The Chinese-owned video-sharing app has been under increasing scrutiny over its security and data privacy, with concerns it could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or gather user data – something TikTok strongly denies.

The EU Commission and more than half of US states and Congress have already introduced a ban over concerns around potential cyber attacks.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted at following suit, saying the UK will “look at what our allies are doing”.

Earlier this week, security minister Tom Tugendhat told Sky News he had asked the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to look into the app as it was “absolutely essential” to keep the UK’s “diplomatic processes free and safe”.

The UK’s parliament shut down its own account last year after MPs raised concerns about the firm’s links to China.

But TikTok has called government bans “misguided and based on fundamental misconceptions”.

Responding to Mr Tugendhat’s remarks last week, a spokesman for the app said the company would be “disappointed” if the UK government banned it.

They added: “Similar decisions elsewhere have been based on misplaced fears and seemingly driven by wider geopolitics, but we remain committed to working with the government to address any concerns.”

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