As security concerns continue to mount over the popular social media app TikTok, governments around the world are taking action to limit its use. In recent weeks, Canada, US federal agencies, and the EU Commission have instructed their employees to delete the app from their work devices due to concerns over its ties to China. Now, Austria is also considering similar measures, with the IT experts of the Ministry of the Interior currently examining the dangers posed by the video app.
According to a report from ORF.at, confirmed by the APA, the Austrian government is weighing up the potential risks associated with TikTok and considering whether to follow in the footsteps of other nations in banning its use. The move comes amid growing concerns over the app’s data privacy practices and its close ties to the Chinese government.
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has become hugely popular in recent years, particularly among young people. However, the app has faced increasing scrutiny from governments over its data collection practices and potential security risks. Critics have raised concerns that the Chinese government could use the app to collect sensitive data on foreign citizens, posing a potential national security threat.
In response to these concerns, several governments including EU have taken action to limit the use of the TikTok among their employees. In the United States, federal agencies such as the Department of Defense and the State Department have banned the use of TikTok on government-issued devices, citing security concerns. Similarly, the EU Commission has instructed its staff to remove the app from their private devices by March 15th.
Canada has also taken steps to limit the use of the app among its employees, with the Canadian Armed Forces banning its use on work phones and devices. The move follows a similar decision by the Australian Defense Department, which banned TikTok from all government-issued devices in late 2020.
The growing scrutiny of TikTok by governments around the world has also led to increased pressure on the app’s parent company, ByteDance. In recent months, the company has faced criticism from lawmakers in several countries over its data privacy practices and its ties to the Chinese government.
ByteDance has sought to address these concerns by pledging to store user data outside of China and establishing a transparency center in the United States. However, critics argue that these measures are not enough to address the potential national security risks posed by the app.
Despite these concerns, TikTok remains hugely popular among users around the world, particularly among younger generations. The app has been credited with revolutionizing the way that people consume and create content online, and has spawned a new generation of social media influencers and content creators.
However, as governments continue to scrutinize the app’s security risks, it remains to be seen whether TikTok will be able to maintain its popularity and avoid further restrictions on its use. For now, the app’s fate hangs in the balance as governments around the world weigh up the potential risks and benefits of its use.