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Now TikTok is even banned from US govt contractors' personal smartphones


June 07, 2023

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Now TikTok is even banned from US govt contractors' personal smartphones

TikTok is making headlines again, and - as usual - it's not for a good reason.

Back in February, the White House announced that it was giving all federal agencies just 30 days to wipe TikTok from all government devices, due to security concerns.

Now that guidance has broadened - extending to include not only contractors' smartphones, but even contractors' privately-owned devices.

In the interim rule - issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA), and NASA - the presence of TikTok (and other apps developed by TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance) are prohibited "regardless of whether the device is owned by the Government, the contractor, or the contractor's employees."

The one safety net for TikTok addicts is that government contractors are still allowed to have TikTok installed on their own personal smart phone if it "is not used in the performance of the contract."

In other words, do all your contract work on a smartphone provided by your boss and don't you dare install TikTok.

The tightened rules are the latest round in an escalating battle between TikTok and much of the Western world over the social platform's alleged links to the Chinese government.

These concerns have already caused TikTok to be banned in a wide variety of places around the world - including the European Parliament, UK government, Canadian government, and India.

TikTok, which is most popular with teenagers and people in their 20s, has managed to amass over 150 million users in America. Banning TikTok may or may not be a good step from the smartphones they use for work may or may not be good for security, but it almost definitely will be a good thing for productivity.

This week TikTok owner ByteDance has been accused of allowing members of China's Communist party of accessing the data of civil rights activists and protestors in Hong Kong.

ByteDance and TikTok have repeatedly denied that the Chinese authorities have control over their software or data.




Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, researcher and public speaker. He has been working in the computer security industry since the early 1990s.

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