New Zealand Lawmakers Ban TikTok Amid Data Use Fears

Wellington – New Zealand lawmakers and other officials in parliament will be banned from using the TikTok app on government mobile phones, officials said Friday.

The ban, which will take effect at the end of the month, has seen similar moves in many other countries.

However, New Zealand’s ban applies only to about 500 people inside the Houses of Parliament, not all public officials like the US and UK bans. Other New Zealand institutions may later decide to impose their own bans.

Global concerns about apps come after that FBI Warning He also pointed out that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, may be able to share TikTok user data (browsing history, location, biometric identifiers, etc.) with China’s authoritarian government.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said he doesn’t have TikTok on his phone.

“I’m not that hip or trendy,” he told reporters.

New Zealand’s move is based on the advice of government cybersecurity experts, said Rafael Gonzalez-Montero, chief of parliamentary services.

He said the app will be removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network, but officials can make special arrangements for those who need TikTok to fulfill their democratic obligations.

“This decision was made based on our own expert analysis and discussions with colleagues across government and internationally,” Gonzalez Montero said in a statement. “Based on this information, the service has determined that the risks are unacceptable in the current New Zealand parliamentary environment.”

Hipkins said the cybersecurity advice came from New Zealand’s intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Service. He said New Zealand does not take a holistic approach to all civil servants and it is up to each department or agency to make cybersecurity decisions.

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https://www.local10.com/tech/2023/03/17/new-zealand-lawmakers-banned-from-tiktok-amid-data-use-fears/ New Zealand Lawmakers Ban TikTok Amid Data Use Fears

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