City Hall bans TikTok app despite Sadiq Khan’s 47,000 followers
TikTok has been banned on London City Hall devices amid ongoing security concerns.
Staff will no longer be allowed to have the video sharing app on their official devices as part of the latest ban to hit the Chinese-owned firm over data privacy fears.
Greater London Authority (GLA) officials said the rule was implemented as the organisation takes information security “extremely seriously”.
The ban comes despite mayor Sadiq Khan’s TikTok account having nearly 47,000 followers and a verified ‘blue tick’ badge of authenticity. Khan has shared videos on St Patrick’s Day celebrations, International Women’s Day, TfL upgrades, debt advice and mental health, earning him over 346,000 likes on the app.
The mayor’s office, however, did not immediately respond when asked by City A.M. whether Khan and his staff would continue to use the TikTok account.
The move comes after the UK government banned ministers from using the video-sharing app on their work phones following a security review.
The Scottish Government is also imposing a ban on official devices over concerns “on the potential tracking and privacy risks from certain social media apps”.
Politicians – including Matt Hancock, Grant Shapps and Labour’s Zarah Sultana – have embraced TikTok as a way to connect with younger voters.
While Beijing’s intelligence laws require firms to help the Communist Party when requested, TikTok, which is owned by Chinese internet company ByteDance, has argued it does not share data with China.
A TikTok spokesperson told City A.M. said the bans are “based on fundamental misconceptions and driven by wider geopolitics”.
“We are readily available to meet with the Mayor to address any concerns but we should be judged on facts and treated equally to our competitors.
“We have begun implementing a comprehensive plan to further protect our European user data, which includes storing UK user data in our European data centres and tightening data access controls, including third-party independent oversight of our approach.”