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New Zealand to ban TikTok on devices linked to parliament

New Zealand to ban TikTok on devices linked to parliament
A person holds a smartphone as Tik Tok logo is displayed behind in this picture illustration taken Nov 7, 2019.
PHOTO: Reuters

SYDNEY - New Zealand will ban TikTok on devices with access to the parliamentary network because of cybersecurity concerns, a government official said on Friday.

TikTok will be banned on all devices with access to New Zealand's parliamentary network by the end of March, said Parliamentary Service Chief Executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero.

TikTok has come under increasing scrutiny due to fears that user data from the app owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, undermining Western security interests.

Britain on Thursday banned the app on government phones with immediate effect. Government agencies in the US have until the end of March to delete the app from official devices.

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

"Based on this information the Service has determined that the risks are not acceptable in the current New Zealand Parliamentary environment,” he said.

Special arrangements can be made for those who require the app to do their jobs, he added.

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