The Science Minister’s “confident” data laws mean the public can continue to use TikTok

The Science and Technology Secretary has said the public can continue to use TikTok due to the strength of UK privacy laws.

Michelle Donelan made the comments, reiterating that the government is conducting a security review of its own devices.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted the UK could join the US and EU in banning the Chinese-owned social media app from government phones and devices.

Labour’s Lucy Powell, speaking during a session on science, innovation and technology issues in the House of Commons, urged the Government to clarify its position.

The shadow culture minister said: “Three weeks ago, the foreign minister said that TikTok on government devices is a personal choice. Over the weekend it was reported that a review of TikTok is to be carried out. And this week the prime minister said he was considering a ban.

“So, can she tell the House today, is it a personal choice or does TikTok pose a security risk on officers’ devices?”

Ms Donelan replied: “Ensuring the security of UK data is a priority and our experts continue to monitor threats to data.

“The Cabinet Office-led government security group is reviewing the evidence base to take action against government equipment.

“What I was actually saying was that in terms of the general public, it’s absolutely a personal choice. But because we have the toughest privacy laws in the world, we’re confident the public can continue to use them. That is very different from what[Ms. Powell]said.”

When asked about a ban on TikTok on Tuesday, Security Secretary Tom Tugendhat said he was waiting for a report from the National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) before making a decision.

Mr Tugendhat was asked if he would order a total ban on the app, as ordered by India and former US President Donald Trump.

He told Times Radio: “I haven’t and the Prime Minister asked me some time ago to defend the top democracy task force and as part of that we look at the various threats to parliamentarians but also to journalists.

“Looking at the different apps that people have on their phones and how this is affecting them is an extremely important question and I’ve asked the National Cyber ​​Security Center to look into it.”

When asked if that could mean a total ban on the app, he said: “It’s addressed with the challenges we face, with the threats we face. I won’t give you an answer until I know what the risks are.”

Mr Trump’s ban, which faced a series of legal challenges and never came into effect, was overturned by his successor in the White House, Joe Biden.

Parliament’s TikTok account was shut down last year after MPs raised concerns about the company’s ties to China.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *