Several countries in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific have implemented bans on the video-sharing app TikTok on government devices due to concerns about privacy and cybersecurity. Some countries have even completely prohibited the app.
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Is TikTok Banned in Israel?
No. TikTok is not banned in Israel. The Israeli parliament was talking about banning TikTok a few years back because the TikTok app promotes immoral content, but they decided to not ban it in the end.
Many countries have security concerns about TikTok, and have banned the app on federal government owned devices and government devices and mobile devices (as it poses a national security risk)
The CEO of the company faced questioning from U.S. lawmakers on Thursday. TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese technology company Bytedance, has consistently stated that it does not share data with the Chinese government.
The company cites a project it is currently undertaking to store U.S. user data within the U.S., asserting that this will prevent China from accessing it. It also denies allegations of collecting more user data than other social media companies and emphasizes that it operates independently with its own management.
However, several governments have expressed concerns about the platform and its connections to China. The following are the countries that have implemented either partial or complete bans on TikTok:
In 2022, the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan implemented a ban on TikTok and the game PUBG, citing the protection of young people from potential misinformation.
Belgium has implemented a temporary ban on TikTok for devices owned or funded by the federal government, citing concerns about cybersecurity, privacy, and misinformation. The decision to impose a six-month ban was made after receiving warnings from the state security service and the cybersecurity center.
The Canadian government has prohibited the use of TikTok on government-issued devices, citing concerns about privacy and security. Additionally, employees will be prevented from downloading the application in the future.
The Defense Ministry of Denmark has prohibited its employees from having TikTok on their work phones and has instructed those who have installed it to remove the app from their devices promptly. The ban was implemented due to significant security concerns and the minimal work-related necessity to use the app.
The European Parliament, European Commission, and EU Council, which are the main institutions of the 27-member bloc, have implemented bans on TikTok on staff devices. As part of the European Parliament's ban, which started on Monday, lawmakers and staff were also recommended to uninstall the TikTok app from their personal devices.
In 2020, India implemented a nationwide ban on TikTok and several other Chinese apps, including WeChat, due to concerns regarding privacy and security. The ban was enacted following a clash between Indian and Chinese troops at a disputed Himalayan border, resulting in the loss of 20 Indian soldiers' lives and numerous injuries.
The companies were provided an opportunity to address inquiries regarding privacy and security requirements, however, the ban became permanent in January 2021.
Lawmakers in New Zealand and staff at the nation's Parliament will no longer be allowed to have the TikTok app on their work phones, based on advice from government cybersecurity experts. This ban will be implemented by the end of March, and the app will be removed from all devices with access to the parliamentary network. However, officials can make special arrangements for individuals who require TikTok for their democratic responsibilities.
The Norwegian parliament has recently made the decision to ban TikTok on work devices. This decision came after the country's Justice Ministry advised against installing the app on phones issued to government employees.
Pakistani authorities have imposed temporary bans on TikTok on multiple occasions since October 2020, citing concerns regarding the promotion of immoral content on the app.
In December 2022, Taiwan implemented a ban on TikTok for public sector devices due to concerns raised by the FBI regarding national security risks. This ban includes Chinese-made software, such as TikTok, Douyin (its Chinese equivalent), and Xiaohongshu (a Chinese lifestyle content app), which are prohibited from being used on government devices including mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
In mid-March, British authorities implemented a ban on TikTok for mobile phones used by government ministers and civil servants. The ban was described as a precautionary measure based on concerns and does not affect personal devices. Furthermore, the British Parliament has also announced a ban on TikTok for all official devices and the wider parliamentary network. Additionally, the semi-autonomous Scottish government has enforced an immediate ban on TikTok for official devices.
In March, the U.S. ordered government agencies to delete TikTok from federal devices within 30 days due to data security concerns. The ban only affects government devices, but some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for a complete ban. China criticized the U.S. for the TikTok ban, calling it an abuse of state power and a suppression of foreign companies. Over half of the U.S. states, as well as Congress and the armed forces, have also banned the app from official devices.
Privacy and security concerns on mobile devices attracted partial or total bans in other countries that banned TikTok (and other countries without a banned TikTok app) on cybersecurity concerns and each country's justice ministry warned and urged municipal employees of weighty security considerations related to cyber security and civil servants, like the Norwegian intelligence services single outright ban of the app for Norway's security interests.