New Zealand bans TikTok on government devices, knows why?

New Zealand bans TikTok

On Friday, March 17th, New Zealand announced that it would prohibit the use of TikTok on devices with access to the country’s parliamentary network due to cybersecurity concerns, adding another country to the list of those who have banned it. It is also the latest country to restrict the use of the video-sharing app on government-related devices.

Why Newzealand bans TikTok ?

It was done so because of suspicions and concerns that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, Byte Dance, could give access to users’ locations and contact data to the Chinese government.

This concern got more highlighted when the Biden administration demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners divest their stakes or the app could face a US ban, which means it was even suspected of breaching data to the Chinese government by the United States too.

By the end of March,TikTok will be banned on all devices with access to the Parliament’s network in New Zealand.

Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, the Parliamentary Service Chief Executive, said in an email to Reuters that the decision was taken after advice from cybersecurity experts and discussions within government and with other countries.

He further said that they cannot take a risk with the security of New Zealand’s parliamentary services, and so they have to take this step.

“Departments and agencies follow the advice of the Government Communications Security Bureau in terms of IT and cybersecurity policies… we don’t have a blanket approach across the public sector,” said Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at a media briefing.

New Zealand bans TikTok on Government devices

New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Friday they had already implemented bans on TikTok on work devices, and a similar statement was also issued by New Zealand’s defense force.

Apart from New Zealand and the USA, Britain also banned the app on government phones with immediate effect on Thursday. Government agencies in the U.S. have extended the time limit  until the end of March to delete the app from official devices.

Seeing the sudden ban in so many countries, TikTok rejected all the spying allegations and further said that it believes the recent bans are based on “fundamental misconceptions” and driven by wider geopolitics, adding that it has spent more than $1.5 billion on rigorous data security efforts.

Conclusion

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin, responding to a question about the TikTok bans from Britain and New Zealand, said during a regular news briefing on Friday that the two countries should “stop over-extending and abusing the concept of national security, and provide a fair and non-discriminatory environment to companies from all countries.”

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