New Zealand on Friday will follow other Western countries and ban the video-sharing app TikTok from lawmakers’ devices due to security concerns.
The app will be banned on all devices with access to New Zealand’s parliamentary network from March 31.
TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has already been banned on government-issued devices in Canada, Australia, Britain and the US amid cybersecurity concerns.
In a statement, Parliamentary Service chief executive Rafael Gonzalez-Montero said the decision had been made following advice from cyber security experts. Arrangements would be made for those who required the app to perform their democratic duties, he said. The platform could still be accessed through a web browser.
Cyber security services company CyberCX said the ban was needed to protect New Zealand’s security, especially given the sensitive nature of information on lawmakers’ devices.
“If TikTok were directed to act in China’s interests, it would seriously threaten our security - so in terms of government-issued phones, the ban is necessary,” CyberCX executive director of security testing and assurance Adam Boileau said.
“We need to look beyond TikTok and urgently review the threat other foreign technology poses - the risk to our nation’s security is only increasing as we adopt more foreign technology,” he added.