New Zealand Bans TikTok on Government Devices, Following Other Countries

TikTok, the short-form video sharing app, has been gaining popularity around the world, but also facing criticism and scrutiny from several countries. New Zealand is the latest country to ban TikTok from government devices, amid concerns about data privacy and national security.

The move comes as several other countries and jurisdictions, including the United States, India, and Australia, have already taken similar steps to restrict or ban TikTok on government or military devices. The New Zealand government announced the ban on 23 March, citing “significant risks” with the app’s use, particularly in relation to data security and privacy. However, the ban only applies to “certain government-issued devices,” and not to all government employees.

Growing Concerns Over TikTok and Data Security

The growing concerns over TikTok and national security have been fuelled by allegations that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, has links to the Chinese government and could be used for surveillance and data collection purposes. TikTok has repeatedly denied the allegations and said that it stores user data outside of China, in the United States and Singapore. However, governments and experts remain sceptical and cautious.

In the United States, for example, the administration of former President Donald Trump had sought to ban TikTok entirely, citing concerns about the app’s potential to share user data with the Chinese government. Although the ban was not ultimately carried out, it highlighted the rising tensions and suspicions over Chinese tech companies and their relationships with government authorities. As such, the ban on TikTok in New Zealand and other countries is likely to be seen as part of a broader effort to address and mitigate such risks.

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