UK gov’t asks National Cyber Security Centre to review TikTok

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The UK government has requested the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to assessment TikTok in a transfer that might prefigure a ban on the app on government gadgets.

Speaking to Sky News, safety minister Tom Tugendhat said the government has requested the NCSC to look into the favored video sharing app — telling the broadcaster he didn’t rule out a ban however needed to attend for the Centre’s assessment to conclude. “Understanding exactly what the challenges that these apps pose, what they are asking for and how they’re reaching into our lives is incredibly important,” he said.

The growth follows a report in the Sunday Times on the weekend which steered a ban is incoming. The newspaper steered TikTok is ready to be banned from all government gadgets — after preliminary safety assessments had raised issues in regards to the security of delicate knowledge.

We’ve reached out to the Cabinet Office in regards to the NCSC assessment and the reviews of a ban incoming and can update this report if we get a response.

TikTok was also contacted for remark. An organization spokesperson said:

While we await particulars of any particular issues the UK government could have, we’d be dissatisfied by such a transfer. Similar choices elsewhere have been based mostly on misplaced fears and seemingly pushed by wider geopolitics, however we stay dedicated to working with the government to handle any issues. We have begun implementing a complete plan to further defend our European user knowledge, which incorporates storing UK user knowledge in our European knowledge centres and tightening knowledge entry controls, together with third-party impartial oversight of our method.

Concerns about safety and the privateness of TikTok user knowledge — together with worries that the video-sharing platform’s algorithm-driven content feed is perhaps getting used as a conduit for Chinese Community Party propaganda or to run state-backed information operations in search of to govern public opinion in the West — have led to a sequence of bans on the China-owned app by different governments and public establishments in latest months — together with the European Commission, the Belgian federal government and the US House of Representatives.

Back in mid 2020, the Indian government went even further — banning TikTok and a swathe of different Chinese made apps, that means residents can’t even obtain them for private use — saying it was taking the step over issues the software program posed a threat to nationwide safety and to “the sovereignty and integrity of India”, because it put it on the time.

Former US president Donald Trump also brought on complications for TikTok later the same year — when he inked an executive order banning transactions with ByteDance, the dad or mum firm of TikTok, and also sought to ban the app from the US.

The Trump TikTok ban ended up stalled and a subsequent try by him to pressure the Chinese firm to promote TikTok’s US operations to Oracle was also shelved. But whereas the following US president, Joe Biden, went on to revoke the Trump administration’s TikTok actions he also signed a brand new order requiring the Commerce Department to assessment apps with ties to “jurisdiction of foreign adversaries” which will pose nationwide safety dangers — so US consideration on TikTok stays.

The firm has responded to Western safety issues by asserting quite a few main knowledge localization infrastructure applications.

Last year it claimed all US users knowledge had been moved to Oracle servers in the US. Similar strikes in the EU are ongoing — that means EU users’ knowledge hasn’t but been ‘localized’ — however TikTok not too long ago dialled up its regional PR efforts, saying it would layer new knowledge entry and management processes on high of regionally saved knowledge, together with a promise to have interaction an exterior auditor, in a bid to counter issues that staff exterior the bloc can nonetheless entry European TikTok user knowledge.

In parallel, the overarching query of the legality of TikTok’s regional knowledge exports stay under investigation by EU knowledge safety authorities.

The social media platform is dealing with further dangerous press in the area at the moment: A report in the Financial Times comprises allegations the corporate mishandled claims of sexual harassment against a senior supervisor at its London office. Five former staff told the newspaper they’d experienced or personally witnessed sexual harassment on the organisation in its UK and European workplaces.

In a press release responding to the FT’s report, a TikTok spokesperson said:

“Harassment of any kind in our workplace is completely unacceptable and will be met with the strongest form of disciplinary action possible. We’re fully confident in the rigour of our process for surfacing, investigating and taking action on any and all complaints of this nature.”

European Commission orders workers to take away TikTok from work gadgets

UK gov’t asks National Cyber Security Centre to assessment TikTok by Natasha Lomas initially printed on TechCrunch