Australian security agencies have not yet advised the government to follow the US, EU and Canada in banning Chinese video app TikTok from government devices, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said on Wednesday.
“We’ll take the advice of our national security agencies. That hasn’t been the advice to date,” Chalmers told ABC television, when asked if the government would consider a government-wide ban on TikTok.
Canada banned TikTok from government-issued devices on Monday and the following day the European Parliament banned the app from staff phones citing concerns over who could access user data. The White House on Monday gave government agencies 30 days to ensure they do not have TikTok on federal devices.
The bans underscore growing concerns that China’s government could use TikTok, owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, to harvest users’ data to advance its political interests and meddle in other countries’ internal affairs.
The European Commission imposed a similar ban last week, while the US Senate in December passed a bill to bar federal employees from using the app on government-owned devices. India banned TikTok in 2020.
Japan’s chief government spokesman said on Monday that the administration has cybersecurity measures in place pertaining to social media services but does not exclude products from specific countries.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon