TikTok is to be removed from the Scottish Parliament’s phones and devices amid security concerns over the Chinese-owned app.
The move follows Decided to ban UK government devices from using the app.
In an email on Friday, Holyrood’s MSP and staff were “strongly” advised to remove the Tik Tokincluding from personal devices used to access Scottish Parliament IT systems.
Alan Balharrie, chief information officer and head of the Digital Services Group, wrote: “Following discussions with the National Cyber Security Center, we strongly recommend that the work of all members, members’ staff, council staff and contractors Officers deleted the TikTok app from any device currently used to access the IT systems of the Scottish Parliament.
“This includes personal devices and devices issued by the SPCB.
“Given concerns about the information the TikTok app could collect from devices, we’ve based this advice on a precautionary approach and the best information currently available.
“We believe this advice is proportionate and necessary given what we know so far.
“We will continue to liaise with our cybersecurity partners, including the National Cyber Security Centre, and will keep this advice under review.”
UK government bans TikTok from mobile phones
TikTok’s thirst for data isn’t unique — the ban strips the government of a powerful tool
Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden announces TikTok ban on UK government phones In a statement to parliament on Thursday.
He said there were “potentially” risks in the way the app used government data and information.
Mr Dowden added that while TikTok’s use was “limited”, banning it was good online “hygiene” – and brought the UK in line with the US, Canada and the EU.
Video-sharing apps come under increased scrutiny Security and Data Privacyfearing it could be used to promote pro-Beijing views or collect user data — something TikTok vehemently denies.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, said it was “disappointed” with the decision and said the ban was based on a “fundamental misunderstanding and driven by broader geopolitics”.
The spokesman added: “We remain committed to working with the government to resolve any issues, but should be judged on facts and treated in the same way as our competitors.
“We have embarked on a comprehensive plan to further safeguard our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centers and strengthening data access controls, including third-party independent oversight of our methods.”