The Australian government will announce a ban on TikTok on government phones this week, joining other countries in prohibiting the Chinese-owned video app due to security concerns, according to Australian newspapers late Monday.
Following the completion of a review by the Home Affairs department, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese agreed to a government-wide ban on the use of TikTok, according to The Australian newspaper.
The short video app will also be banned from government phones in Victoria, according to The Age, citing a state government official who said Victoria would follow the federal government’s lead.
According to The Age, Tiktok Australia general manager Lee Hunter stated that the company was disappointed to learn of the ban through the media “despite our repeated offers to engage with government constructively about this policy”.
“We stress that there is no evidence to suggest that TikTok is in any way a security risk to Australians and should not be treated differently to other social media platforms,” he said.
TikTok has come under increased scrutiny due to concerns that user data from the app, which is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, could end up in the hands of the Chinese government, jeopardising Western security interests.
The app has already been banned from official devices in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium, and the European Commission due to security concerns.