Sweden’s Ministry of Defense has reportedly prevented employees from using the Chinese-owned app on their work phones
Sweden’s military has reportedly cracked down on TikTok, decreeing that staff can no longer use the Chinese-owned video-sharing application on their devices at work due to security concerns.
The Ministry of Defense announced its decision on Monday, which was watched by Agence-France Presse, prohibits the use of TikTok. Security concerns were raised based on “the reporting that has come to light through open sources regarding how the app handles user information and the actions of the owner company, ByteDance,” the ministry said.
The move follows similar restrictions imposed by other EU countries in recent weeks. For example, France banned government employees from downloading “recreational” applications, including TikTok, onto their work phones. Norway banned use of the app on devices that can access its parliament’s computer network, while Britain and Belgium banned it on all government phones. Denmark’s Ministry of Defense and Latvia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed their TikTok bans earlier this month.
– Using mobile phones and tablets can in itself be a security risk, so we do not want TikTok on our work equipment, says Guna Graufeldt, press secretary of the Swedish Ministry of Defence, to AFP.
The United States, Canada and New Zealand previously banned their federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices, citing fears of ByteDance’s ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Members of Congress may seek to ban the app from the US market altogether after testimony at a congressional hearing last week by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew failed to alleviate its security concerns. “They have actually united Republicans and Democrats out of concern about allowing the CCP to control the most dominant media platform in America,” U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher said Sunday in an interview with ABC News.
Chinese officials have denied claims that TikTok is being used to collect personal data from its American users. “The Chinese government has never asked and will never ask any company or individual to collect or provide data, information or intelligence located abroad in violation of local laws,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told reporters last week. She added that Washington has attacked TikTok without providing any evidence that it threatens US security.