Exclusive: MP slams TikTok sponsorship with Women’s Six Nations as ‘disappointing’ amid calls to be wary of app and its data gathering
A senior UK Parliamentary committee chair has questioned TikTok’s sponsorship of the Women’s Six Nations, calling the deal “disappointing”.
Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told City A.M. of her concerns that the Chinese-owned social media platform is “being promoted through European and British Sport”.
The app, commonly used for popular dances but more recently as a content creation and news outlet, last year signed a deal to become title sponsors of the Women’s Six Nations until 2025.
TikTok trojan horse
It comes after the BBC joined the UK Government, EU Commission and United States Government in banning the app on official devices over fears about its data harvesting.
“The sponsorship of the Women’s Six Nations Rugby Tournament by TikTok is disappointing,” Kearns told City A.M.
“We need to all challenge the continued acceptance of data exploiting technologies on our streets and in our pockets.
“I am disappointed that TikTok is being promoted through European and British Sport at a time when we should all be discussing the importance of our data in the public.
“TikTok’s ability to act as a data Trojan Horse remains a concern, and the Government’s recent decision to ban TikTok on Government devices and create a pre-approved app list should set a precedent for the rest of the country.”
The row threatens to cast a shadow over the start of the Women’s Six Nations this weekend. The competition is enjoying greater prominence, taking place in a separate window to the men’s championship for the second consecutive season.
The crescendo is set to be England’s clash with France at Twickenham with organisers hoping to break the world record for the biggest crowd at the Women’s Six Nations. Ireland completed the Grand Slam in the men’s competition on Sunday.
City A.M. approached the Six Nations for comment.