U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday said the country is watching its allies’ approach to TikTok. He said this in the context of government staff using TikTok on their devices. He noted the country will take “necessary” steps to protect sensitive information.
“We want to make sure that we protect the integrity and security of sensitive information and we will always do that and take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that happens,” Mr. Sunak told ITV.
Mr. Sunak also noted that established guidelines were in place.
“We do take very seriously the use of government IT and we of course also look at what our allies are doing in that space,” he explained, when asked about government employees using the Chinese-owned video sharing app.
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Mr. Sunak referred to China as a “systemic challenge,” drawing attention to both its “authoritarian” domestic activities and its increasing overseas presence.
The report comes as the European Commission, the EU Council, and the European Parliament are proposing a ban on TikTok on their employees’ phones due to cybersecurity concerns. In the U.S., TikTok is banned from the work phones of Senate members.
TikTok said that it would be “disappointed” by a ban in the U.K. and said it was open to working with the government to address its concerns.