Irish Cyber Security Body Advises Government Employees to Avoid TikTok on Official Devices

Dublin, April 22, 2023 – Ireland’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) issued a recommendation on Friday, advising government employees and staff at state agencies to refrain from using the Chinese-owned video-sharing app TikTok on official devices. This comes in the wake of several Western nations, including the United States, Britain, and other European Union member states, prohibiting the app over security concerns. The EU’s two largest policymaking institutions also banned TikTok last month.

Irish Cyber Security Body Advises Government Employees to Avoid TikTok on Official Devices
TikTok, a product of Chinese company ByteDance, has faced increasing scrutiny from governments and regulators worldwide. The primary concern is the potential for the Chinese government to exploit the app to collect user data or advance its interests. Ireland’s NCSC has identified TikTok as collecting a significantly high volume of user data, which they see as a risk in the context of Chinese intelligence-gathering laws.

“The issue here is not what we know to be happening. The issue here rather is what we can’t rule out is happening,” said NCSC director Richard Browne in an interview with national broadcaster RTE. He further emphasized the importance of adopting a “sensible risk-based approach” to protect government data from potential compromise.

The NCSC clarified that politicians are not prohibited from using the app on their personal devices. Additionally, the use of TikTok on official devices may be permitted in exceptional cases where there is a legitimate business need, such as for a press office.

TikTok maintains a strong presence in Dublin, where it oversees several European operations, including data privacy and protection. The company announced plans last month to open a second data center in Ireland and reduce the transfer of data outside the European Union.

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