Minister Järvan: TikTok to be banned on state officials' work phones

Kristjan Järvan (Isamaa).
Kristjan Järvan (Isamaa). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Use and installation of the TikTok app is to be banned from smartphones issued by the state, to officials, outgoing Minister of IT and Foreign Trade Kristjan Järvan (Isamaa) told daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL).

In response to an EPL question, in an interview with the daily, asking whether the Estonian state has weighed up banning apps such as TikTok on official phones, Järvan said: "This will be closed down on all centrally managed devices, this month."

"If a public official uses their private phone while at work, we really won't be looking into that," the minister added.

"This initially only concerns TikTok, which will be removed from centrally managed smartphones, while its installation will be prohibited [too]," Järvan went on.

Created by ByteDance, a company based in the People's Republic of China (PRC), the use of TikTok has raised security concerns about the extent to which it provides surveillance information about the user's activities.

While private sector firms in the PRC must provide their data to the state, at the latter's request, other countries are concerned about the same thing happening with their own state officials – in short, espionage.

Several Western nations, have limited or banned the use of TikTok on officials' phones, including the U.K., where a ban on its installation on all devices connected to the House of Commons and the House of Lords was put in place last week, while Scotland has also followed suit in banning TikTok's use on parliamentary smartphones used in Holyrood.

The platform is also widely used by teens and young people to provide video content specific to that age group.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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