British Parliament suspends TikTok account over data security concerns

The British Parliament can no longer be found on TikTok. Members of parliament called for the closure of the TikTok account in a letter due to data security risks. They feared that data would end up in the hands of the Chinese government. The BBC reported this in a news report. The TikTok account of the British Parliament was only active for a few days.

Concerns about data transfer to China

Creating a TikTok account was a pilot initiative by the British Parliament to reach a younger audience. Several MPs were “surprised and disappointed” by this decision. In a letter to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, they expressed their concerns about “significant” risks to data security.

The MPs said TikTok executives were unable to convince them “that the company could prevent a data transfer to ByteDance, should the parent company make a request.” They called for the account to be deleted until TikTok gave “credible assurances” that no data could be handed over to China.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which denies it is owned by the Chinese government. Still, MPs wrote: “The prospect of Xi Jinping’s government accessing personal data on our children’s phones should be a cause for great concern.”

As a result of data security concerns, the British Parliament closed the TikTok account earlier than planned. The account has been locked and all content has been removed.

TikTok’s response

The  BBC  spoke with a TikTok spokeswoman. She called it “disappointing” that Parliament is now unable to contact TikTok users in the UK. She also offered to reassure the MPs concerned. According to her, TikTok is willing to “clarify inaccuracies about our platform”.

According to the  BBC, TikTok has contacted all MPs who signed the letter. The company would like a meeting where it can explain its data protection processes.

Privacy Policy TikTok

The British Parliament is not the first party to express its concerns about TikTok. The platform is known for many violations of user privacy. There are also security concerns as TikTok is a Chinese company and the Chinese government exercises strict control over companies in the country, among other things.

The service was previously fined by the Dutch Data Protection Authority for violating the privacy of children. TikTok recently postponed the introduction of a new privacy policy. Here too, there were concerns from various regulators about user privacy.

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