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Technology Navy bans TikTok from government-issued phones

23:15  21 december  2019
23:15  21 december  2019 Source:   engadget.com

US Navy bans TikTok over security worries, says report

  US Navy bans TikTok over security worries, says report The Navy reportedly tells personnel they can't have the app on government-issued mobile devices and warns them about safeguarding personal information.Loose lips sink ships.

Earlier this week the United States Navy banned the social media app TikTok from government - issued mobile devices, saying the popular short video app represented a "cybersecurity threat."

A bulletin issued by the Navy on Tuesday showed up on a Facebook page serving military members, saying users of government issued mobile devices who had TikTok and did not remove the app would be blocked from the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Don't expect to post often on TikTok if you're serving in the US Navy. The military branch has banned use of the social video app on any government-issued mobile devices. ByteDance's software is allegedly a "cybersecurity threat," according to a bulletin. The Navy's Lieutenant Colonel Uriah Orland didn't offer specific reasons for the ban, but the notice asked troops to take action to "safeguard their personal information."

a close up of a person holding a cell phone

There's little doubt as to why TikTok might face restrictions, though. US politicians remain concerned about TikTok's Chinese ownership and the potential for the app to serve as a conduit for Chinese government plans. There's no evidence that TikTok is siphoning personal info, but that might not matter to jittery officials. As it stands, there are also worries that China may be shaping TikTok's message, even for American users. Critics are concerned that TikTok could be a recruiting tool, or else sanitize the atrocities and other forms of oppression in China.

The US Army recently told cadets not to use TikTok.

ByteDance hasn't commented on the ban. It previously said that TikTok's US operations are separate from China and has denied serving on the government's behalf. That stance won't assuage the Navy, though, and it looks like the Navy's rank and file will have to use personal phones if they're going to use TikTok at all.

Reuters

TikTok was downloaded more than Facebook and Messenger in 2019 .
Well over 700 million people downloaded TikTok in 2019, according to Sensor Tower.The worldwide No. 1 app was WhatsApp, with over 850 million downloads, likely buoyed by its popularity in India. (TikTok too was helped by the ultra-populated country, as Sensor Tower said 45% of its first-time downloaders were in India.) WhatsApp's growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 was up 39% over the previous quarter, Sensor Tower noted.

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