When asked this week whether the UK would ban TikTok on government phones, Rishi Sunak’s response signalled a change in stance: “We look at what our allies are doing.”Previously ministers had seemed sanguine, even saying that whether or not the app stayed on someone’s phone should be a matter of “personal choice”.Not any more.
The UK’s allies are turning against TikTok and it was when Sunak said he was watching their actions closely that a government ban became inevitable.
The US, Canada and the EU’s executive arm have already decided to strip the app from government devices. It’s now a matter of geopolitical choice.TikTok is owned by the Beijing-based ByteDance.
The fear among its critics on both sides of the Atlantic is that the Chinese state can access data generated by its more than 1 billion users and manipulate its recommendation algorithm in order to push a China-friendly point of view to unsuspecting users.There is no hard evidence this is the case and TikTok says it would refuse any data request from the Chinese government.Read more on theguardian.com